Help: Meaning of terms for particular gold weights

MWMintz mwmintz at IINET.NET.AU
Wed Dec 21 12:06:48 UTC 2011

I have just completed the final draft of a paper 
which deals, among other things, with gold 
weights at the turn of the 16th century, 
particularly in the Bikol region. I would 
appreciate help with the meaning of some of these terms and their reference.


tigambalá a weight of 6 amás or six-sixteenths of 
a tael of gold; var- tigang balá [mdl]

amás a measure of gold, equivalent to 1/16 of a 
tael; a mace of gold; KA- a measure of 1 amás; 1 
kaamás = 16 bangatí; 6 kaamás = 1 tigambalá; 16 kaamás = 1 ba'síng [mdl]

padúni' measure of gold; padúni' sa duwá katigang 
balá measure of gold equivalent to 12 amás; 
padúni' sa duwá kalímang amás measure of gold 
equivalent to 10 amás; padúni' sa duwá 
kakamandáhom measure of gold equivalent to 5 amás [mdl]

bitínan: bitínan sapáha' weight of 4 amás of 
gold; bitínan sa kamandáhom weight of 2½ amás of 
gold; bitínan sa makasiyám weight of 1½ amás of gold [mdl]


1:  tigambala / tigang bala. The first of these 
forms also occurs in Tagalog with the same 
meaning. We are dealing here with what must two 
words: tiga and bala. Does anyone know what these mean?

2:  kamandahom / kakamandahom. Since the prefix 
ka- is independently identifiable, I believe we 
are dealing with a morphologically complex root 
of the form mandahom. Does anyone know how this 
might be divided and what the root might mean? 
This form appears twice which makes it less 
likely there is a printing error, although the possibility exists.

3:  bitinan sa makasiyam. The full phrase means, 
literally: nine times the weight or a weight of 
nine times. The prefix maka- in makasiyam is 
independently identifiable as carrying the 
meaning of times in this context. Does anyone 
know what the reference for 9 might be?

I have identified the other forms which appear in the data above.

Thank you. All the best for the season and the New Year.

Malcolm W Mintz
School of Social and Cultural Studies
Discipline of Asian Studies
University of Western Australia

[Telephone & Fax: +61 8 9459 0119]
[email: mwmintz at]  
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