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Pied Du Roy

Between myth & reality

Balisong history is fuzzy.
First, balisong is presented as a Filipino knife in most of the book on the subject. Balisong belongs to the practise of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). That's true that the word & the culture of balisong has origins in Batangas, Philippines islands. Many legends exist about the fabulous use of balisong by Filipino warriors. One of them would have killed 29 opponents with his balisong (this legend is sometimes told to justify the balisong nickname "veintinueve"). But it is not sure that the concept of the balisong (a blade and two mobile half-handles) comes from the Philipines.

The oldest "balisong concept" knife I know is the Pied-Du-Roy, which has been dated before 1791. This knife is French, and can be seen in the Musée de la Coutellerie, in Thiers (centre of France -- with Laguiole, the most famous French "city of knives").

Collectors such as Chuck Gollnick managed to find "balisong concept" knives from European countries and estimated as made during the XIXth century.

In the Philippines, I have not heard of so old balisong. I may be wrong.
I hope that balisong lovers will manage to find older roots to understand the path of the "balisong concept" idea, from it's birth to Batangas.

 
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