Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

barong knife with scabbard
  • Philippines
  • barong knife with scabbard, late 1800s–1956
  • Where object was made: Luzon, Philippines
  • wood, iron, brass, leather, carving, incising
  • Object Length/Width: a) 60 x 8 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 23 5/8 x 3 1/8 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 48 x 8 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 18 7/8 x 3 1/8 in
  • Gift of H. H. Lane
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0379.a,b

This is a large knife (2007.0379.a) with an iron blade and elaborate wooden handle. The blade has one cutting edge and is wider near the end than it is at the base. The wooden handle is carved in the shape of a stylized animal head with a single horn on its nose. The curlicues on top of the head resemble eyebrows and there is a flower in the top middle of the head. The rest of the wooden handle is hexagonal, each side having a stem and leaf design with a crosshatched background. A wide brass band connects the wooden handle to the blade. It is also hexagonal with a ridge at either end but undecorated otherwise.

The scabbard (2007.0379.b) is made of a dark red wood with a wide band of leather at the open end, and five undecorated brass or copper bands at regular intervals along the remainder. There are brass bands with a scalloped edge on the open end and at the closed end. Each scallop has three small incised lines.