The kalasag (Spanish: carasas) is a large rectangular myth-motif shield used by the natives in the Philippines. The shield is made of hardwood and is decorated with elaborate carvings. The wood comes from native trees such as the dapdap, polay and sablang. The shield measured about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length. Its base is composed of rattan wood which is strengthened by the application of resin.
It was widely used throughout the Philippines for warfare. Datu Lapu-Lapu was reported to have used this shield during the Battle of Mactan in 1521. Its shape is commonly used as part of the official seal of the Philippine National Police. Various kinds of kalasag are also represented in the provincial flags of Bukidnon, Maguindanao, and Mountain Province.
Various kinds of kalasag from Mindanao displayed in the National Museum of Anthropology
A Moro kalasag (c. 1905)
An Igorot kalasag (c. 1905)
- New York Academy of Sciences, Synergy (Online service) (1917). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. New York Academy of Sciences. p. 236.
- Dozier, Edward P. (1966). Mountain Arbiters: The Changing Life of a Philippine Hill People. University of Arizona Press. p. 131. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- Junker, Laura Lee (1999). Raiding, Trading and Feasting. University of Hawaii Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-8248-2035-0. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- Siti Norkhalbi Haji Wahsalfelah (2007). Textiles and Identity in Brunei Darussalam. White Lotus Press. ISBN 974-480-094-1.
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