According to Filipino history, the Kampilan is believed to be the sword that struck down the famous explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, at the hands of the legendary Chief, Lapu-lapu. Originally, dual pointed with a carved hilt, these swords of the Moros of Sulu and Mindanao are carried by warriors who are in the first line of defense. They are considered the national weapon of the Moros of Sulu & Mindanao.
The kampílan is a type of single-edged long sword, used in the Philippine islands of Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon. 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 and a bifurcated hilt which is believed to represent a mythical creature’s open mouth.
The Maguindanao and the Maranao of mainland Mindanao preferred this weapon as opposed to the Tausug of Sulu who favoured the barung. The Kapampangan name of the Kampilan was “Talibong” and the hilt on the Talibong represented the dragon Naga, however the creature represented varies between different ethnic groups. Its use by the Illocanos have also been seen in various ancient records.
A notable wielder of the kampílan was Datu Lapu-Lapu, the king of Mactan and his warriors who defeated the Spaniards and killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan at the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521. The mention of the kampílan in ancient Filipino epics originating from other non-Muslim areas such as the Hiligaynon Hinilawod and the Ilocano Biag ni Lam-Ang is possible evidence for the sword’s widespread usage throughout the archipelago during the ancient times.
The laminated steel blade of the kampílan is single-edged, and made from an Arabic pattern-welding process and is easily identified by its tapered profile, narrowest near the hilt and gently widening until its truncated point. The blade’s spikelet has led to the description of the kampílan in some documents as “dual-tipped” or “double-tipped”
The scabbard is usually made of cheap wood and is bound with simple rattan or fibre lashings. When the sword needs to be used immediately, the sword bearer will simply strike with the sheathed sword and the blade will cut through the lashings, thereby effecting a quick, tactical strike without the need to unsheathe the sword.
The hilt is quite long in order to counterbalance the weight and length of the blade and is made of hardwood. As with the blade, the design of the hilt’s profile is relatively consistent from blade to blade, combining to make the kampílan an effective combat weapon.
Source & Copyright: Wikipedia & Scar Family Dit-Da-Jow
A fantastic example of functionality in harmony with form.