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Topics - Sun_Helmet

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« on: July 13, 2006, 07:01:14 PM »
Magellan's historian Antonio Pigafetta, described the weapons used against Magellan. The weapon that struck his lower limbs and initiated his death was described as a scimitar or cutlass. In the Italian translation it was also the same.

Many have described these weapons as Kampilans and we envision the 'v' tipped straight swords. It has been illustrated thus in many books and articles of the battle. However, after looking at old books of that time especially weapons catalogued by the Spanish government for their own studies, the kampilans of that day look very much like actual scimitars, not the straight bladed kind that the kampilans evolved into. The 'Campilanes' illustrated in the Resen'a Historica de la Guerra al Sur de Filipinas in 1857 were markedly different than the ones we see today. They are twice as wide where the tip widens, some bow out instead of the 'v' prongs, or in reverse, bow in at the tip instead of making the 'v', more of an exagerrated curve on the blade shape than a straight weapon.  At the punto were tassels, similar to the ones we see on latter versions.

I always wondered why the Portugese, Spanish and Italian had described the kampilans as scimitars, and that was due to the weapons looking more like a fatter classical scimitar from the Arabian Nights. A page of the catalogue is reproduced on page 213 of Muslims in the Philippines by Majul.

Sayoc Kali

Martial Arts Topics / Myth in Martial Arts
« on: July 16, 2003, 10:21:36 AM »
I don't have the magazine in front of me, but it may have been IKF which lists the top ten common myths in Martial Arts.

One of them was that the Spanish never prohibited the Filipinos from carrying weapons.

I don't know where they got this from but Spanish records contradict this.

Here is a list of weapon bans repeatedly issued by the Spanish government upon the Filipinos. They were called superior bandos.

December 29, 1763
February 9, 1764
August 3, 1765
January 19, 1771
February 1778
February 1783
October 1812
June 11, 1829

In detail is the Proclamation of 21, May 1844 issued in Cavite during the Tulisanes raids, which banned Filipinos and mestizos from carrying all kinds of weapons. Arms licenses was granted only to persons duly authorized by the provincial Spanish governor. The law applied to the use of guns, spears, swords and long daggers. However, no special permit was necessary for the use of spears measuring 5 varas with bamboo shafts utilized for hunting animals. Same applied to BLUNTED Bolos and pick axes. Penalty for carrying arms without a license was 6 months heavy labor.
Cavite Before the Revolution, page 92 Medina.

Being caught by the Spanish authorities carrying weapons can also lead them to suspect you as being a Tulisanes. In places like Imus, Cavite Spanish authorities under the supervision of friars would decapitate a Tulisanes and publicly display their heads in a cage at Imus plaza. Their bodies were also quartered prior to the beheading.

Some Tulisanes evaded prosecution by leaving Cavite and heading to the southern regions like Negros or to Basilan Island. One Tulisanes named Pedro Cuevas became a Datu (Datu Kalun) of the Yakans in Basilan.

By the 19th century, Cavite's dis- satisfaction with the repressive Spanish authorities had transformed the tulisan activity (once deemed as night time raiders) into a more focused form of peasant movement. In the end it would culminate into the Katipunan movement which spawned the Filipino Revolution of 1896.

--Rafael Kayanan--

Sayoc Kali

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