Friday, November 07, 2003

Two boys and a girl

I have a handful of swords. Quite a few of them antique at least 40-100 years old. They each have their own personalities, their own charm. When I handle them, it's like a dance, I feel where they want to go. Some movements are hard to do, that means they don't want to go that way. Others feel as though the weapon becomes a part of your hand, they like that.

Because many of them have had previous owners I wonder often about the people who have handled the weapon before. I wonder if any of them were really used in battle. I wonder what stories that have to tell. Some of the stories I feel like an emotion. Often they have a gender.

My kampilan is a guy. My Ifugao sword is a woman. I found out on Wednesday, my kris is a guy. It's only my second time performing with the kris. How do I know this? It's a strange phenomena really. It's as if the sword becomes a mask that I wear when I wield it. And when I hold the weapon a new mask comes on. I'm not sure who it is or where it comes from. It certainly comes from the sword, but who it is, I don't know. Maybe it was a previous owner, maybe it was the person who forged the blade. When I hold the kampilan or the kris, the movements are harder more forceful, while the Ifugao sword asks for softer more graceful movements, much more feminine. There's a certain calm about her while the others are much more brash.

With the wooden sticks, those are new so it's basically me the audience sees. But with the swords, it's as if a "spirit enters" as my BF says, that I become another person.

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