Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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centurion 30th May 2019 07:15 AM

Piso Podang Batak Toba
3 Attachment(s)
I was looking for a piso podang for some time.

I acquired this one a couple of days ago, it is a Batak Toba piso podang, according to the figure with the hat.

centurion 30th May 2019 04:19 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Additional details with better photos

Battara 30th May 2019 05:56 PM

Nice and complete example. The hilt and fittings look to be bronze.

Congratulations! Was wondering if the blade is European.

centurion 31st May 2019 12:54 AM

1 Attachment(s)
The fittings and hilt are actually brass, they are just with a lot of patina.

Patterns of the fittings decorations are very similar to Batak smoking pipes that were in use end of 19c-beginning of 20c.

There is a similar sword for sale on a Malaysian website, and that one was collected in Sumatra the late 40s of the 20th century, according to the seller.

The blade looks like a pamor type, I suppose it is imported from Java island. I added a close-up of the blade.

Rick 31st May 2019 01:43 AM

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All this bronze casting makes me ask; is this piece for 'show' or for 'go'?
It would seem to be a bit of a heavy ensemble with a bronze scabbard, not to mention the metal on metal wear on the edge whereas most swords from these regions tend to have wood scabbards.

This just does not look like a fighting sword to me. :shrug:

centurion 31st May 2019 02:58 AM

The fittings on the scabbard are from brass, not bronze. The scabbard itself is wooden. The whole sword with scabbard is 1,1 kg and without scabbard 700gr.
The blade is 57cm, the sword without scabbard 74, with scabbard 78cm.

It is for sure a show-off piece of a person of high status. However, the blade is in very good condition, sharp and can be used for attack or defence.

Battara 31st May 2019 04:14 AM

I figured that it was for high status wear.

centurion 2nd June 2019 06:30 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Similar pieces from the Batak museum in Lake Toba and from Sotheby`s auction.

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