A Large Dayak Beladau dagger
South-East Kalimantan, Borneo – 19th century
Materials: Wood, Pigment, Steel
The ‘Beladau‘ or often called ‘Jambiya‘ is a curved knife attributed to the Dayak tribes of South-East Kalimantan and the Banjarmasin sultanate. The word ‘Beladau‘ can be freely translated in Malay for ‘curved blade dagger’.
Most of the blades were imported from Islamic areas such as Persia and India, however, some were locally forged.
The better and smooth forged blades are generally imported and so is our example listed here. Most of these ‘Beladau‘ are found in Sumatra, Riau and Kalimantan.
Typical for the Southern region of Kalimantan and Banjarmasin. The simple, yet elegant hilts, are often made of horn or wood. Our example has a wooden hilt, shaped in Indo-Persian manner, yet decorated in typical red and black polychrome which is custom to many arms of this region.
A little uncommon and large compared to what we normally see on this type. The blade shape is between the classical Islamic ‘Jambiya‘ and the ‘Khanjar‘ with its tip curving towards the opposite direction. The blade starts with a medial fuller on both sides running down towards three quarter of the blade. The blade is double edged, well forged and has a smooth finish with a fine dark patina.
Condition: Very good, no scabbard, some small ware on the edges and an old crack in the hilt. Further intact with original polychrome.
Blade thickness: 4mm
Blade length: 29.5cm
Total length: 43cm
– Traditional Weapons of Borneo part III, Albert van Zonneveld.
– Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, Albert van Zonneveld
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