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Old 21st September 2011, 12:42 AM   #1
CharlesS
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Default A Monster(as in BIG) Parang!....But From Where???

This is yet another recent pick up that intrigued me for its sheer size, really more the girth and weight. While the parang is not so unusually long at 32in., with a 26in. blade that is 2in. wide at its widest point, it is thick and ridiculously heavy and almost a full inch thick at the forte. The blade shows nice fullering as well.

The blade is layered, which shows nicely, and has a nice and very dramatic form. The hilt is beefy buffalo horn with silver sleeve. The scabbard is new.

The weight makes this sword nearly impossible to weld, and it would seem unmanagable in combat unless carried by a monster of a man. I had wondered if it might be an executioner's blade, but having discussed that with a friend, that seems impractical as well.

Perhaps it is a ceremonial piece?

Just curious if anyone can identify a culture or location from which this parang may originate??? The hilt almost has a Muruti look to it.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 21st September 2011, 03:07 AM   #2
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IT LOOKS LIKE FIRST CLASS WORK FROM BORNEO. THE WORKMANSHIP, HEAVY BLADE AND DESIGNS REMIND ME OF SOME OF THE LARGE FIRST CLASS PARANG LATOKS I HAVE SEEN. A REALLY NICE ONE WISH IT WERE MINE .CONGRADULATIONS
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Old 21st September 2011, 05:21 AM   #3
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Great piece Charles!

It's a variation of a parang pedang, one of my favourites.
Yours is probably from coastal Sarawak with its Melanau silver sleeve.
The length is normal, both over all and the blade but the thickness at the
back is usually around 1/2 inch.
The thickness of yours reminds me too of a Melanau Latok Sadap (like Barry indicated).
The new scabbard isn't "100 %" correct however.
They come in two separate styles and yours is a bit of each.

Michael
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Old 21st September 2011, 07:00 AM   #4
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Whoa, that's a whopping one!

Love the laminations and the fullers!

BTW, you often only show one side of a piece when posting pics. How about taking the overview shot of the other side than the close-ups? That would allow us to glean a few more details without taking more time or bandwidth...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 21st September 2011, 11:38 AM   #5
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Thanks VVV,

Can you post pics the two scabbard styles? I was having to "wing it" a little here, going primarily from the niabor model, based on blade width and curvature similarities.
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Old 21st September 2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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Sure Charles,

Here are the two variations.
I assume that the first one is Murut-related. The second variation might be also be older (the PP in it is the oldest one I have seen).
As you can see your scabbard resembles the first variation at the throat and the second at the end.

Michael
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Old 21st September 2011, 01:00 PM   #7
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Thanks Michael!
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Old 21st September 2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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Welcome,

Btw, I (and Ben who has seen my four PPs and also has two himself) suspect that the PP and the Nyabur are related, probably being the two oldest Dayak swords from the West coast. We dated date my all-brass hilted #2 above to early 19th C, maybe even late 18th C, which is very old for a Borneo parang.
Yours is the heftiest PP I have seen (so far).

Michael
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Old 21st September 2011, 03:16 PM   #9
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Michael,

I had wondered if the two MUST be related. When I was trying to prepare scabbard dimensions I used the curvature of my niabor to go by...the closest thing I had...and noticed that both the curvature and width of blade were pretty nearly identical to the larger parang. It(the niabor) was only smaller in all other dimensions, primarily the thickness of the blade and weight.

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Old 21st September 2011, 03:35 PM   #10
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Yes,

But your PP is not typical based on weight and blade thickness.
I do however have a Nyabur with a similar blade thickness and probably around the same weight.
But that is also much heftier than my other Nyaburs...

Michael
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Old 21st September 2011, 03:40 PM   #11
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That brings me to yet another question....at such a weight and difficulty to handle, what is their purpose....status???ceremonial???...literally 'my sword is bigger and heavier than yours'??!!
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Old 21st September 2011, 07:13 PM   #12
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Maybe a deterring effect?
I can handle them (= use mostly circular strikes) but it's not the most efficient sword in my arsenal.

Michael
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