Original U.S. WWII Philippines Bringback Large Bolo Knife Modified With Bowie Style Blade And Wooden Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice knife, brought back by a USGI from the Pacific Theater of WWII. During the war, servicemen were deployed all over the Western Pacific islands, and had much interaction with the island populations, who were often liberated from Japanese occupation. From these locations, they brought back all types of knives.
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. This one however appears to either have been made to have the appearance of a bowie knife or the blade was entirely manufactured by the soldier/Marine.
The primary use for the bolo is clearing vegetation, whether for agriculture or during trail blazing. The bolo is also used in Filipino martial arts or Arnis as part of training.
A bolo is characterized by having a native hardwood or animal horn handle (such as from the carabao), a full tang, and a steel blade that both curves and widens, often considerably so, towards its tip. This moves the center of gravity as far forward as possible, giving the bolo extra momentum for chopping.
So-called "jungle bolos", intended for combat rather than agricultural work, tend to be longer and less wide at the tip. Bolos for gardening usually have rounded tips.
During war, bolomen were fighters using these blades as they were not issued firearms; they also bore anting-anting which their leaders alleged made them invulnerable to bullets. The bolomen were effective in close-quarters combat with riflemen using bayonets, but were easily defeated if riflemen opened fire on them.
This is a rather large example of the “combat” bolo/bowie and it does show signs of use and still retains a nice edge. The carved wood handle has deep ridges carved into it and has the appearance of being “stacked” much like the leather washers on most fighting knives of the period. The scabbard is all wood and consists of 2 pieces of carved wood, once held together with wire. Carved into the scabbard ia MINDANAO, VISAYAS and LUZON.
This is a lovely example that comes more than ready for display.
Blade Length: 11 ¾”
Blade Width (Widest Point): 2”
Total Length: 16 ⅜”
Scabbard Length: 14 ½”
Blade Type: Bolo / Bowie
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