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Old 31st May 2007, 02:25 PM   #1
CharlesS
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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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Old 31st May 2007, 02:27 PM   #2
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Pics continued....
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Last edited by CharlesS : 1st June 2007 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 31st May 2007, 02:32 PM   #3
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I apologise for the somewhat confusing alignment of pics, but this the work of the site's automatic attachment manager, and not my own choice. The correction has been made...now the pics are in the correct order.

Last edited by CharlesS : 1st June 2007 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 31st May 2007, 02:50 PM   #4
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Wow. Next time I'm in NC I need to stop by and see your collection, Charles.

You should consider focusing on these gorgeous swords and ridding yourself of all dha...
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Old 31st May 2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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Thanks Andrew, but ridding myself of my dha????....I ain't had that many Mint Julips!!!
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Old 31st May 2007, 04:56 PM   #6
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Thank you very much Charles
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Old 31st May 2007, 05:45 PM   #7
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Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't sit still of excitement.
This is indeed a great collection of Sumatran swords you have gathered.
Heaviest sword O.D. I have had for a long time.

Michael
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Old 31st May 2007, 06:09 PM   #8
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Hey Charles

Great swords . Now can you leave some for us other guys to buy Btw that #11 sword was on my shopping list but I thought you would be going for it and I did not want to get into a bidding war with a friend so I passed on it and I am glad you won it.



Lew
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Old 31st May 2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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Many thanks guys. Unfortunately, I am now noticing an error that you have probably already picked out....the close-up with a pamor blade attributed to #10, is actually #9. #10 has a wootz blade.
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Old 31st May 2007, 07:16 PM   #10
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Who's a lucky fellew, very nice.
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Old 31st May 2007, 09:17 PM   #11
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Charles: Great collection of klewangs, especially the one with the wootz blade. Btw, i know a man out here on the west coast who has a small store in S.F that sells tribal art. He was born and raised on the island of Lombok. He says that this type of handle which most books say is specific to Sumatra, is actually carved and used throughout the islands. Growing up, he saw many of these handles made not only on Lombok, but on Bali and Madura as well. Just thought i would let you know that this style of hilt is NOT specific to just Sumatra.................Dave.
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Old 31st May 2007, 09:55 PM   #12
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Hi Dave,

Yes, indeed you are right. Apparently these types were popular throughout the islands. I used the Sumatra reference simply to parallel Zonneveld.

In fact. Two of the swords in the grouping were collected from Java, one from Bali, and one from Lombok. The others are from Sumatra, or else I am not sure of their origin.

Last edited by CharlesS : 31st May 2007 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 1st June 2007, 12:35 AM   #13
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Fantastic collection Charles, can you tell me roughly how thick the silver overlay is on the hilts. .
DrD
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Old 1st June 2007, 12:36 AM   #14
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Wonderful. You want to bring some of that bling to my house next week?
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Old 1st June 2007, 01:01 AM   #15
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Battara,

Wish I could. All is know is that you had better hide or chain down your Moro stuff!!

Looking forward to it!
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Old 1st June 2007, 01:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
I apologise for the somewhat confusing alignment of pics, but this the work of the site's automatic attachment manager, and not my own choice.


Charles,

It is best to upload these picture one at a time. THEN they stay in order.

VERY NICE!!!
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Old 1st June 2007, 11:32 AM   #17
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Thanks Bill,

Took your advice, and re-ordered them. That's a nice thing to remember for the future. Thanks again.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 12:12 AM   #18
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Hi Charles
You may have been following it already but in the keris warang kopi forum there has been a very interesting discussion on the so called death shroud or corpse wrapping pamor and the fact that it should probably be called the slanted wrapping pamor (or rope pamor if you are in Bali).

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4662

cheers
DrD

Last edited by drdavid : 3rd June 2007 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 12:53 AM   #19
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of an interesting past link related to this topic, which, among others, show a different variance of no. 8:


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=pedang
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Old 3rd June 2007, 08:12 PM   #20
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BTW Spunger, love your new avatar!
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Old 8th June 2007, 09:48 PM   #21
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thx battara, been binging lately, lol...
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