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Old 19th July 2018, 01:53 AM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,635

Hello Alan,

I read your post before I wrote.

You can call this beladau or jambiyo blade whatever you wish, I think you know my opinions in respect of playing with names

Well, I hope you noticed that the thrust of my postings was not an easy fix regarding names but rather to suggest that we have 2 distinct classes of blades, from different cultures; confounding them won't help IMVHO.

I couldn't care less what name will eventually be established for this blade type, if any. However, I'd like to avoid prematurely affixing a wrong tag to them; and even more so confounding their originating culture and history.

Beladau was given to me first by a dealer who lived in Jogja, but came from Palembang, that was around 1980. In later years I had the same name given to me again by several people who were not collectors or dealers of weapons or artefacts, just ordinary people, housewives and their husbands. These people were from various places in Sumatra, and I seem to recall one couple came from somewhere else, maybe Malaysia.

I don't doubt that orang Melayu and other coastal Sumatran ethnic groups might be inclined to refer to the kind of blade in Freddy's and/or this thread as beladau. However, I'd posit that this type of blades originates from the Minang highlands and is distinct from the coastal beladau type. Thus, it is pretty much a moot point what other cultures choose to say about a Minang blade. It's like asking a true-bred member of the Surakarta society about a Tenggerese blade (or vice versa; there may be people who know both (or multiple) cultures well enough to give an educated cross-cultural response - probably a rare find though...

Jambiyo is the general name for any dagger with curved double edge blade and a hilt with flared pommel and ferrule section, like the Middle Eastern jambiya.

In both cases the people I knew who used the name beladau/jambiyo did not draw any distinction between short, broad, deeply curved blades and longer narrower, irregularly curved blades, but the daggers that they saw in my possession did have the same type of hilt, something like a crude version of a ME jambiya.

Could you post examples of the pieces which these informants commented on, please? I suspect we're speaking of a mixed lot or even different beasts...

I will also try to come up with pics from my collection for a better understanding of what I refer to as highland daggers.

kai is offline   Reply With Quote