19.5" Basilan Yakan Pira made with Mangrove Wood

19.5" Basilan Yakan Pira made with Mangrove Wood
Product Code: Product 58
Product Length: 49.53 cm
Product Weight: 25.00 oz
Reward Points: 0
Availability: 1
Price: $229.00
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These piras are the traditional swords of the Yakan, the tribesmen who call the island of Basilan home. Getting these piras was no easy task, and would be an even harder task now after 17 (or 30, depending on whose account you believe) Philippines’ soldiers were killed by the MILF on Basilan, a group which wants to free the Muslim areas of the ARMM from Philippines’ rule.

This beautiful pira was expertly ground from handforged carbon spring steel. Both the hilt and sheath were carefully carved from Basilan mangrove wood. Mangrove would is not commonly seen on piras anymore because many of the Yakan have retreated into the mountains due to immigration into the coastal areas of Basilan.

The 13.75” blade is 5/16” thick at the base and this is a mean, convex ground chopper. The balance point is 4.25” in front of the handle. This pira is definitely not intended for agricultural use, although it would hold up well for that purpose if need be. 

This is a heavy, solid pira and the only one of three from this forge that I accepted. There are some natural checks in the wood (common in mangrove wood from this region of the world). The handle and scabbard have been finished in clear coat varnish to seal it off from the elements. Unfortunately, the scabbard has contracted in the dryer air (Basilan is an extremely humid place) and it now takes a really strong pull to draw the pira. There is a strip of painstakingly hand woven red Yakan cloth on the scabbard. This cloth has to be seen to be believed.

This is a truly beautiful piece that would be welcomed in any Bangsamoro (Southern Philippines Muslim) collection. 

The hilt of this sword measures in at 5.75”. The design of the piras’ hilt really ensures your hand is not going to come off the handle when you swing hard! There is a minor crack in the handle I filled with JB Weld. I also filled several small cracks in the mouth of the sheath with JB Weld, which is an extremely strong steel epoxy.

This is an outstandingly beautiful sword you will definitely not find anywhere else. It truly was a mission to get these, and I honestly would be happy to keep them. Basilan and Zamboanga are currently on high alert after the recent violence there, so I’m not sure if and when I’ll be able to get any more.

This sword measures 22” in the scabbard, or 19.5” on its own, and it weighs in at 1 lb 9 oz, or 2 lb 8 oz with the scabbard. $229 including shipping.

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