Philippines  (Asia)

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Philippines. A friend of mine went to the Philippines in 1978 and in 1980. He bought the 1st set in Baguio. Not sure who did make this set.
July 2021 a similar set was offered on Ebay as "Vintage Philippine Maria Clara Chess Set Narra & Kamagong Wood 5”K". The description said a.o.: The set is inspired by the local "folk heroine" Maria Clara from the novel of Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal (1861-1896). The heroine inspired a dance, a song and a form of national dress. The set originates from the Ivatan people of the Batanes islands, which is the northern most region of the Philippines. As with other higher quality Filipino sets, the natural hardwoods are polished and oiled. The white side is made from Acacia or Narra (Light Brown), and the black side is made from Kamagong (Dark Brown).

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  • Philippines, Baguio, "Maria Clara chess set"
  • 1978
  • Wood K 12.0; p 5.5

The 2nd set was bought in an Igorot Village on Luzon. Igorot is the umbrella name for a number of indigenous peoples in the northern Philippines, a region with a lot of rice cultivation in terraces. The chess set shows it in the rice bowl that the Bishop is holding. Furthermore, you can see the water buffalo, the farmers' best friend, as the Knight and the nipa hut, the national house type, as the Rook. This set was made by Ifugao, headhunters in the past. Now they are famous for their woodcarving skills.

The 3rd set is from same source.

  • Philippines, Luzon, by Igorot (Ifugao)
  • 1980
  • Wood K 11.7; p 10.3
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  • Philippines, Luzon, by Igorot (Ifugao)
  • 1990
  • Wood K 12.5-11.7; p 8.8