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Old 31st May 2007, 02:25 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 1,648
Default A Brief Look at Sumatran Swords (Pedangs, Parangs, Klewangs)

Though not a much sought after sword type, I have always been attracted to Sumatran swords for a variety of reasons but most notably because of their finely carved pommels, the way they handle, and especially for the tremendous range of blade types that can be found with them.

While the pommel styles may vary little except in quality and workmanship, the blades found with these swords can take on variety worthy of a single collecting interest.

Zonneveld's Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago refers to these swords as "Pedang II" and "Padang III"....but I wonder if based on blade style they could go on into "Pedang infinity"!!

It is my purpose here to illustrate some of the variety found in these under appreciated swords. I think some in particular will surpise you. While most of these swords are "slashers", make no mistake about the fact that these can be effective "stabbers" in the right hands. 4-7 shown are efficient stabbers, and when the sword's blade is turned flat with the wrist fist out instead of fist down, and the sword's spine facing the user's body, 8-11 are just as(surprisingly) efficient at stabbing.

Enjoy!

1. Horn hilt with swassa(gold copper alloy) band decoration.

2. Horn wayang hilt with superb pamor blade of fascinating construction. A similar one was discussed recently on the forum.

3. Classic "Pedang III" form.

4. Short sword, finely fullered, and with Islamic script in silver wire koftgari.

5. Similar to 4, but with a fine silver scabbard.

6. Very unusual form with a fine blade and a more rare(that they survive!!) wooden hilt in wayang form.

7. Simple sword with light sharp blade.

8. Magnificent twist core pamor blade in what I believe is a "death shroud" pamor.

9. Classic, thick, very heavy, pamor blade.

10. Imported Persian wootz blade of very good quality wootz. The attempts to mimic Assad Allah logos are crudely acid etched.

11. Heavy, smooth, pattern welded blade.

12. Huge, really massive and far larger than the norm, sabre style blade, looking to copy European styles, though a native made blade. Interesting chieselling to the spine. The scabbard mounts are even more interesting, all being decorated in silver niello!

13. Another, massive, atypical sabre style that appears to immitate a Europen blade, but again is native made.

14. Klewang with superb blade and scabbard

15. Another, more classic Sumatran klewang with interesting hilt and laminated blade.
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Last edited by CharlesS : 1st June 2007 at 11:27 AM.
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