Philippines Moro Keris / Sword Sundang
AGE: – Unsure of exact age, assuming 19th Century but possibly older
CONSTRUCTION: – Steel & Wood
TOTAL LENGTH INCL. SCABBARD: – 71cm
BLADE LENGTH:– 54cm
WEIGHT: – 750gms
#1100 PRICE: – CONTACT
Philippines Moro Keris / Sword Sundang from the Mindanao region in the southern part of the Philippines. There are two types of swords used by the Moro people, who are native Muslim inhabitants of the Philippines and descendants of the early Indian, Arab and Malay migrants. The name Moro was given to the people of the Muslim faith by the Spanish who ruled the region during their occupation from 1565 until 1898.
There are two types of Moro keris one is referred to as Kalis, the name used by the Samals, Tausugs, and Yakans. In Mindanao, it is called Sundang and is used by the Maguindanos, Maranaos, and others throughout parts of Asia such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Moro keris has the most varied design and style amongst the bladed weapons found in the Philippines and was originally a combat weapon and a key symbol of man’s rank and status within his tribe, and also believed to have special powers.
The older style sword had fewer waves which were wider and deeper. Over time the waves on the blade became more numerous, and closer together requiring greater skill in preventing the blade from embedding itself in the enemy’s body
Philippines Moro Keris / Sword Sundang -| Traditional Filipino Weapon
It is thought that the Moro keris from the Philippines evolved through the influence of Malaysian immigrants who settled in the Philippines several hundred years ago bringing with them the art of metal smelting.
Although the Malay and Indonesian kris was used for both fighting and ceremonial purposes the Moro kriss was generally used as a weapon. The Moros redefined and developed their own version of the kris tang to a thicker, longer, and more rectangular cylindrical version of the Malay and Indonesian pointed tang which could better withstand the stresses of slashing and edge-to-edge fighting.
Similarly to the Malay and Indonesian keris, the Moro keris was custom-made to suit the status and particular wishes of the individual who requested it. The Moros believed in the existence of spirits and that they could be enticed to reside within objects and people.
To this end, rituals were performed to entice patronage and favour of beneficial spirits by the Moros in the Maguindanao regions before going into battle to protect him from his enemies.
“Moro Swords” written by Robert Cato
The Moro Kris is said to have been from the Gods. The inhabitants of Mindanao were still reeling from the effects of the tumultuous storm that had only just subsided. The deluge had pounded their lands for what seemed to be an eternity of days and nights.
Massive floods swept away everything in their path. The island had become so engorged with water that it actually began to sink. In Cotabato, the waters of the swollen Rio Grande de Mindanao began to recede.
This new day brought forth a few weary residents, who milled about, assessing the damage and making temporary repairs. None of the natives had time to notice the elderly man on the river bank. He had come to pray and to beseech his God for reconciliation on behalf of himself and his people.
An object lingered in the water not being affected by the swift currents of the river and it submerged and lay in the water before him. The object suddenly flew from the water onto the lap of the astonished worshiper. When he had regained his composure, the old man saw that the object was a “sundang” (kris sword).