Yakan pirah with scabbard
TypeKnife or sword
Place of originPhilippines
Service history
Used byYakan people, other peoples in Mindanao and the Visayas
Blade typeSingle-edged, convex blade
Hilt typehardwood, carabao horn
Scabbard/sheathhardwood, carabao horn

Pirah or pira is a type of Philippine bolo sword or knife characterized by a heavy blade and a wide tip. It superficially resembles a falchion but is much heavier. It is the traditional weapon favored by the Yakan people of Basilan Island. It usually features a kakatua ("cockatoo") hilt, which among the Yakan is distinctively elongated to function as arm support. Among Cebuano people and other Visayans, a similar sword is also known as the pira, but differs in that it has an acutely pointed tip. Like other bolos, pirah were commonly used as farm implements, in addition to being used in combat.[1][2][3]


See also


  1. ^ Lawrence, Marc (2009). "Filipino Weapons from A to Z" (PDF). Filipino Martial Arts Digest. Stephen K. Dowd.
  2. ^ "Pira Cotabato". Traditional Filipino Weapons. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ Zerrudo, Maria Rosalie (2 November 2013). "Alchemy of fire and metal: The blade-making of Southeast Asian roots". SunStar Philippines. Retrieved 17 July 2019.