Hand knife „bolo“

Object Hand knife “pika”, “pika”
Culture Northern Philippines, Luzon, Ilongot
Time 19th century
Dimensions Length 43,50 cm
Material Steel, wood, rattan

The presented knife is a bolo in a closed wooden scabbard. The hilt is forged and braided with rattan. An interesting feature of the closed sheath types is that many sheaths have a statuette carved out of the upper plate in half relief, as the example shows. This can be an ancestor figure, a lizard or another lucky symbol. This corresponds to blade objects of Taiwan, especially the paiwan. Here too, the upper part of the scabbard has a strong (but usually applied) thickening, which shows special decorative forms related to headhunting, although the bolo is not a fighting weapon per se. However, the hardened metal is the bearer of certain magical powers which are considered to be ominous and magically protective. The lizard is closely linked (as is the snake) to the mythology associated with headhunting and ritual warfare throughout the Austronesian region and is thought to have originated from the toned-down depiction of the mighty (Indian-Levantine) crocodile, the most powerful inhabitant of the life-giving rivers and lord of life and death. There are also sheaths in which these figures are braided from rattan and connected by the straps. 

Supplementing Literature Back to room view