A Beladah Belabang from Borneo
The Beladah Belabang, or in Western collector terms better known as the Parang Nabur, is one of the most iconic non-tribal 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 naval cutlass from the Dutch and the Islamic scimitar.
South Kalimantan, Borneo – 19th century
Materials: Steel, Iron, Brass, Wood, Buffalo horn (Bubalus arnee bubalis)
The Sultanate of Banjarmasin was an important center of weapon production in the first half of the 19th century. A description is found in A. Hendrik’s “Iets over de wapenfabricatie op Borneo” in 1842, where the smith’s techniques were described that these blades were polished upon completion with stones, oil and a fragment of shark skin. This blade is in excellent condition with only some slight discolouration of the forging, but further rock hard and solid with a nice curved quality blade comparable to this example.
The Beladah Belabang or Parang Nabur is quite scarce on the market, only a few good quality examples hit the market ocassionally. We have collected a few of these during the past years. All different in style, but of high quality.
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 brass fittings and rings, nicely chiseled with floral motives which is typical for the region of Kalimantan.
The blade has a nice curve with sharp edge and double cutting edge on the tip. The blade is widening from the forte to the tip as is seen more often on the Turkish ‘Kilij’ or ‘Pala’ blades where their inspiration for this form comes from.
The hilt is made of buffaloo horn with a carved motif for extra grip. The knucklebow is made of brass and so is the thumbrest. Twist nut pommel as usual.
Condition: Excellent, minor signs of ware.
Blade length: 55.5cm
Blade spine thickness: 6mm
Total length: 72.6cm
Copyright by Peter Andeweg 2020
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