Budiak Spears and Lances
In the days when war was waged at close quarters, the Muslims of the Southern Philippines were
among the greatest warriors the world has known. The combative prowess of the Moro warriors was
fueled with a volatile elixir of religious piety, fearlessness, tenacity, and patriotism, making them unconquerable for nearly four hundred years. The weapons of the Moros possess their own intrinsic value as superior weapons and works of art. However, the mystique that surrounds them results not from the substances or methods employed in their manufacture, but rather from the civilization and exploits who used theses weapons.
The spear is considered by some (the sword by others) to have been the primary weapon of a Moro
Warrior, with some warriors having the ability to loft multiple spears at a time thereby
confusing/scattering the enemy. Spears were kept in excellent condition (in excellent polish
and keen-ness of edge), and were prized implements in a Moro Warrior's arsenal. Spears/lances
were used for war, hunting, and fishing. Lance heads tended to be made of high-quality
pattern-welded steel (though some were made of bamboo, particularly those found in the extreme
past), and had iron and/or brass ferrules. Some feature metal butt caps as well. They were often
mounted on hardwood shafts or bamboo. Many spear-head variants existed, from the curvy kris to
straight fullered [grooved] and/or paneled heads.
Oddly enough – even with these primitive weapons – the Moro made a significant enough impression
to cause the United States to rethink the weapons used by the Army after the Philippine
Insurrection of 1899-1902.
During the time of unrest in the Philippines, while the famed John M. Browning was working on
many of his 128 patents, a tribe of warriors, the Moro, were giving the U.S. Army a very hard
time in the Philippines. To prepare for battle, the Moro would bind their limbs with leather,
take narcotics, and use religious ritual to gain an altered state of consciousness, this turned
them into virtual Supermen. The .38 Long Colt pistol round the U.S. soldiers had used, simply
would not stop the Moro. Of note is the fact that the Krag-Jorgensen rifle the U.S. issued was
also barely more than useless.
Remembering this experience with the Moros, Colonel John T. Thompson (inventor of the Thompson
sub-machine-gun) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde, of the Army Ordnance Board, determined that the
Army needed a .45 caliber cartridge to provide adequate stopping power. At this time Browning
was working for Colt and had already designed an autoloader pistol, around a cartridge similar
in dimension to the .38 Super. Hearing of the Armys request for designs for a new handgun,
Browning re-engineered this .38 autoloader to accommodate a .45" diameter cartridge that he
designed and submitted the pistol to the Army for evaluation. The rest is military history.
This polearm is known as a Moro "Budiak" Spear and was used by the fierce, warlike
Morosans of the Phillipines. The Moro was the last tribe of peoples to be subdued during
the Phillipine Insurrection by "Black Jack" Pershing.
Overall length example is ~7'1" and the head is ~14" including the attaching ferrule; intricate wrapping of the attaching rope/string. Brass upper reinforcing ferrules and pommel/end cap.