KAMPILAN

Moro, Mindanao, Philippines

The Kampilan is a long Klewang from the Moro, typically 85 to 100 cm. It is mainly found in Mindanao and is the preferred weapons of the Maguindanao and Maranao Moros. 

The Kampilan name is known all over the Philippine archipelago, but it describes various  type of swords. It was already known when the Spanish first encountered the Philippine indigenous. Magellan is said to have succumbed from a Kampilan blow.

The hilt  (sundi) is quite long to counterbalance the weight and length of the blade. Most hilts are in wood, invariably with the same shape : a cross guard (sampak) and a pommel shaped in an animal's wide open mouth, crocodile (or Naga?), with okir carvings. Some hilts have goat hair decoration (palungpong, kulili) as can be seen on Mandaus.

The blade (tungo) is thick and narrow at its base while it gets thinner and wider to the truncated point (mudchong). Some blades have a spike to the point. Original Kampilans have a laminated blade with a central layer of steel, some older ones show a pamor specific to the Moro pattern-welding process.

Terms in parenthesis are Maguindanoan.

More about Moro weapons.

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OLD BLADES - Malay World Edged Weapons.  Copyright 2000 - 2007
Revised: 2007-03-13