A Very fine Belabong with gold inlay
The Belabong, or in Western terms better known as the Parang Nabur, is one of the most iconic weapons of Kalimantan, South Borneo and were all made in the 19th century.
These swords were influenced by Islamic and European swords, such as the navy cutlass from the Dutch and the Islamic scimitar.
This example belongs to one of the better examples of its kind. The very well pattern welded and curved blade with double edged tip and double fuller was made by a good craftsmen. The forte is decorated with a fine gold inlay ”Kotika” or ”Baduh” magical square in Islamic style.
The hilt resembles, as mentioned before, European characteristics. The knuckle bow is very elegant as well as the thumbrest. The handle is made from carved buffaloo horn and nicely carved for a good grip with a decorated edge pattern. The pommel is attached to the handle with a brass nut. The scabbard is decorated with Berlin silver fittings and rings, nicely chiseled with floral motives which is typical for the region of Kalimantan.
Conclusion: A nice heavy bladed example, most likely worn by a Chief or a man capable of leadership. Click here to see an example of similar quality.
Condition: Very good, the blade is in very good condition and so is the hilt. The scabbard has once been cracked and has an old repair. Two of the rings on the scabbard seem missing. All considered an absolute must have for Indonesian weapon collectors.
Hilt: 17 cm
Blade length: 64.4 cm
Blade thickness: 0.6 cm
Scabbard: 66.7 cm
Total length: 80.4 cm
Weight: 1203 gr.
– A. Hendrik’s “Iets over de wapenfabricatie op Borneo” in 1842
– A. van Zonneveld – Traditional weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago page.99
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