Indonesia & Philippines

“Sangi” Bagobo Knife

Bagobo Knife

14765 Category:

Origin: Mindenao, Philippines

Date: Late 19th C


The Bagobo tribe from Mindanao in south Philippines (as well as neighboring tribes like the T’boli and B’laan), extensively use this type of utility knife known as “Sangi”. In older documents it refers to “Women Knife”(See below), but it is being used by man as well. All Sangi knives employ the same shape of short blade with up-curving edge and straight spine. The angle of the blade to the hilt allow to hold the knife only with the edge upside or in the direction of the holder. Handles and scabbards takes many shapes and materials: Wood and / or cast brass for the handle and wood, brass or braided rattan for the scabbard. Also common is the extensive use of small brass bells called “tiger bells”, attached to the knife and sheath.

The exemplar shown here has a grained wood handle with brass collar. Wood scabbard bound with braided rattans covered with black lacquer and decorated with white glass bids, small brass bells and a tuft of colored hair. Blade 6 1/2 inches. Total length 13 inches. Very good condition. Good authentic piece.

For a similar knife see Bulletin 137 of the Smithsonian institution, Herbert H. Kreiger “THE COLLECTION OF PRIMITIVE WEAPONS AND ARMOR OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS IN THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM” plate 13, item 3


About item 14765

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