Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Sumatra, Toba Batak spear, probably for ceremonial use? (

Loedjoe 22nd March 2020 03:48 PM

Sumatra, Toba Batak spear, probably for ceremonial use?
2 Attachment(s)
Narrow heavy blade, with a pronounced central ridge running the whole length, broadening to the short hexagonal base, which is followed by a ribbon-like strip of steel(?) wound diagonally around the top of the shaft. Next is a sleeve of silver held by three pins or nails (one missing) at the top, decorated with four downward pointing triangles (c.2 cm) composed of circles of silver wire, a few missing. At the base of the sleeve a collar (1 cm) with a zig-zag pattern at the top.
Slender shaft of wood with long streaks of dark brown and black (ebony?)

179.5 cm, blade 22 cm, breadth at widest place 2.2 cm, silver sleeve 14.5 cm, shaft 1.4 cm in diameter. Bought from Mytribalart (thank you Arjan).

Does anyone have similar spears, for comparison?

kai 22nd March 2020 06:56 PM

Hello Tim,

This is Karo rather than Toba. A (lesser) status piece but IMVHO not only for ceremonial use...

Please post a close-up of the wood, please!


Sajen 23rd March 2020 09:18 AM

Hello Tim,

I am in agreement with Kai, it's a Karo spear, not a Toba spear. Also very nice!


Loedjoe 25th March 2020 02:20 PM

Thank you for your comments. I knew it was Karo, not Toba, but obviously had a brain freeze, or a major senior moment, when I posted it - sorry about that.

Close-ups of the wood of this one and the Sulawesi one will have to wait until I can have some help getting them down from the wall - will be some time, no doubt, as I'm self-isolating at the moment.

I must say that the Forum provides some very welcome distraction from the world.

Best wishes to all.

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