Maranao Kampilan

The Maranao kampilan or sword is a single-edged bicuspid weapon that has an ornate handle made of brass and ivory. There are strands of human hair hanging at the bottom of the handle to decorate the sword handle. It is believed that the Maranao of Lanao del Sur used this sword as a weapon to “cut off heads and for splitting the body from top to toe.” Today, the kampilan is used among the datu and sultan as a symbol of power, wealth and status and is manufactured purely as a commercialized item.

The sword is 1.02 meters long and is considered a significant item of the Anthropology Division collection since it is one of the rare ethnographic material that was manufactured with a handle craftly made of brass that typically ends in a v-shaped symbolizing the gaping mouth of the naga or serpent and point to a round ornament where the eyes of the serpent would be seen.


This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
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