Pirah

Last updated
Pirah
Mindanao pira yakan early-20thC.JPG
Yakan pirah with scabbard
Type Knife or sword
Place of originPhilippines
Service history
Used by Yakan people, other peoples in Mindanao and the Visayas
Specifications
Blade  typeSingle-edged, convex blade
Hilt  typehardwood, carabao horn
Scabbard/sheath hardwood, carabao horn

Pirah or pira is a type of Philippine bolo sword or knife characterized by a heavy blade and a wide tip. It superficially resembles a falchion but is much heavier. It is the traditional weapon favored by the Yakan people of Basilan Island. It usually features a kakatua ("cockatoo") hilt, which among the Yakan is distinctively elongated to function as arm support. Among Cebuano people and other Visayans, a similar sword is also known as the pira, but differs in that it has an acutely pointed tip. Like other bolos, pirah were commonly used as farm implements, in addition to being used in combat. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

See also

Related Research Articles

A sword is a bladed melee weapon intended for cutting or thrusting that is longer than a knife or dagger, consisting of a long blade attached to a hilt. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographic region under consideration. The blade can be straight or curved. Thrusting swords have a pointed tip on the blade, and tend to be straighter; slashing swords have a sharpened cutting edge on one or both sides of the blade, and are more likely to be curved. Many swords are designed for both thrusting and slashing.

Filipino martial arts

Filipino martial arts (FMA) refer to ancient Malay and newer modified fighting methods devised in the Philippines. It incorporates elements from both Western and Eastern Martial Arts, the most popular forms of which are known as Arnis, Eskrima, and Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new dynamics for combat in the islands now making up the Philippines. The Filipino people developed battle skills as a direct result of an appreciation of their ever-changing circumstances. They learned often out of necessity how to prioritize, allocate and use common resources in combative situations. Filipinos have been heavily influenced by a phenomenon of cultural and linguistic mixture. Some of the specific mechanisms responsible for cultural and martial change extended from phenomena such as war, political and social systems, technology, trade and practicality.

Arnis National sport and martial art of the Philippines

Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima/Escrima, is the national martial art of the Philippines. The three are roughly interchangeable umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons, as well as "open hand" techniques without weapons.

Kampilan Type of Sword

The kampilan is a type of single-edged sword, traditionally used by various ethnic groups in the Philippine archipelago. It has a distinct profile, with the tapered blade being much broader and thinner at the point than at its base, sometimes with a protruding spikelet along the flat side of the tip. The design of the pommel varies between ethnic groups, but it usually depicts either a bakunawa (dragon), a buaya (crocodile), a kalaw (hornbill), or a kakatua (cockatoo).

Bolo knife Type of Knife or sword

A bolo is a large cutting tool of Filipino origin similar to the machete. It is used particularly in the Philippines, the jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as in the sugar fields of Cuba.

The Pinuti is a Filipino sword from the Visayas, Philippines. The weapon was originally intended as an agricultural implement. The grip is usually made of guava wood, which is light. The blade itself is approximately 16 to 18 inches long.

Kalis Type of Sword

A kalis is a type of double-edged Filipino sword, often with a "wavy" section, similar to a keris. Just like the keris, the kalis's double-edged blade can be used for both cutting and thrusting; except that the kalis is much larger than most keris, making it a sword rather than a dagger.

Sibat Pole weapon used by natives of the Philippines

Sibat is the Filipino word for spear, used as a weapon or tool by natives of the Philippines. The term is used in Tagalog and Kinaray-a. It also called bangkaw, sumbling or palupad in the islands of Visayas and Mindanao; and budjak among Muslim Filipinos in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

Ciriaco "Cacoy" Cañete was a Filipino martial artist of the Doce Pares Eskrima Club. He was the last surviving member of the club, which was founded in January 1932. He was also a 12th degree black belt. His version of the Doce Pares Eskrima system is known as Cacoy Doce Pares. In 1951 he developed a personal system of his named Eskrido.

Yakan people

The Yakan people are among the major indigenous Filipino ethnolinguistic groups in the Sulu Archipelago. Also known as dream weaver having a significant number of followers of Islam, it is considered as one of the 13 Moro groups in the Philippines. The Yakans mainly reside in Basilan but are also in Zamboanga City. They speak a language known as Bissa Yakan, which has characteristics of both Sama-Bajau Sinama and Tausug. It is written in the Malayan Arabic script, with adaptations to sounds not present in Arabic.

Arts in the Philippines Overview of arts in the Philippines

Arts in the Philippines refer to all the various forms of the arts that have developed and accumulated in the Philippines from the beginning of civilization in the country up to the present era. They reflect the range of artistic influences on the country's culture, including indigenous forms of the arts, and how these influences have honed the country's arts. These arts are divided into two distinct branches, namely, traditional arts and non-traditional arts. Each branch is further divided into various categories with subcategories.

Gunong

The gunong is a knife from Mindanao and the Visayas islands of the Philippines. In ancient past, it was called bunong by the Tagalog people. It is essentially a diminutive form of the larger kalis or kris. The gunong serves both as a utility knife and as a thrusting weapon used for close quarter fighting—usually as a last defense. It is most often associated with the Maranao, among whom the gunong was traditionally carried by both sexes, although it exists in other cultures throughout Mindanao and the Visayas. The weapon is generally tucked into the back of a waist sash.

Panabas Type of Sword

The panabas, also known as nawi, is a large, forward-curved sword or battle axe used by certain ethnic groups in the southern Philippines. It can range in size from 2 to 4 feet and can be held with one or both hands, delivering a deep, meat cleaver-like cut. In its heyday, it was used as a combat weapon, as an execution tool, and as a display of power. Occasional use as an agricultural and butchering tool has also been noted.

The Culture of Basilan are derived from the three main cultural ethnolinguistic nations, the Yakan, Suluanon Tausug and the Zamboangueño in the southern Philippines. Both Yakans and Tausugs are predominantly Muslim, joined by their kin from the Sama, Badjao, Maranao, and other Muslim ethnolinguistic groups of Mindanao, while the Zamboangueños are primarily Christian, joined by the predominantly Christian ethnolinguistic groups; the Cebuano, Ilocano, Tagalog and others. These three main groups, however, represent Basilan's tri-people or tri-ethnic group community.

Suntukan

Suntukan is the fist-related striking component of Filipino martial arts. In the central Philippine island region of Visayas, it is known as Pangamot or Pakamot. It is also known as Mano-mano and often referred to in Western martial arts circles of Inosanto lineage as Panantukan. Although it is also called Filipino Boxing, this article pertains to the Filipino martial art and should not be confused with the Western sport of boxing as practiced in the Philippines. In recent times, suntukan has become a generalized term for any brawls in the Philippines, with the term panantukan becoming more frequently used to denote the actual martial art.

Bangkung Type of Sword

The bangkung or bangkon, is a short sword originating in the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines. The bangkung was used primarily by the Moro people of the Sulu and is not associated with Moros in other areas such as Mindanao, although it is sometimes found in coastal regions. The bangkung is a slashing weapon, meant to deliver hacking type blows. While the bangkung is a very effective sword, it was not popular unlike the panabas and the pirah and for this reason it is one of the most rarely found Moro edged weapons. Few were produced and even fewer survive.

Balasiong is a Filipino sword used by Muslim Filipino ethnolinguistic groups in the Southern Philippines. It is a type of kalis but differs in that the double-edged blade isn't wavy but instead slightly convex. It also tapers sharply to the tip. The hilt, like in the kalis is shaped like a pistol handle, an element known as the kakatua (cockatoo).

Guna (knife) Type of Knife

Guna, also called bolo-guna, is a Filipino weeding knife with a very short and wide dull blade with a perpendicular blunt end. It is an agricultural tool used mainly for digging roots and weeding gardens, approximating the functions of a garden hoe. It is the smallest type of bolo.

The batangas or batangas malapad, is a sword originating from the Tagalog people of the Philippines. It is a type of bolo that widens near the tip. It is around 24 to 28 in long with a hooked hilt grip.

References

  1. Lawrence, Marc (2009). "Filipino Weapons from A to Z" (PDF). Filipino Martial Arts Digest. Stephen K. Dowd.
  2. "Pira Cotabato". Traditional Filipino Weapons. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  3. Zerrudo, Maria Rosalie (2 November 2013). "Alchemy of fire and metal: The blade-making of Southeast Asian roots". SunStar Philippines. Retrieved 17 July 2019.