A Parang Latok from Borneo
Malaysia, Borneo, Kalimantan, Sarawak, Brunei, Land Dayak – 19th century
Materials: Deer horn (Sambar), Silver, Steel, Hardwood, Rattan
The ‘Parang Latok’ or ‘Latok Buku’ is a typical chopper from the Land Dayak and the Sultanate of Brunei and highly sought after among collectors. The iconic shape with the strong angle on the shoulder of the blade makes it capable of chopping both as a machete and for combat. The ‘Latok’ was held with two hands, one on the hilt and one at the shoulder of the blade to strike downwards. Used to split enemy shields and even for execution purpose beheading the convict with one single blow. Most swords are approximately around fifty to sixty centimeters. Smaller examples are called ‘Buko’ and are often below sixty centimeters.
Varying in usually two materials, timber and deer horn. The latter was used for this particular example. Carved in a traditional matter which is, by some depicting, a very stylistic ‘Makara’. The hilt was attached to the blade with a strong resin called ‘Damar’ and covered with a silver sheeted ferrule depicting floral motifs. The combination of materials leads us to the importance of the owner. Most agricultural examples have simple wooden hilts with a brass wired ferrule.
Forged of good quality layered steel in traditional form with a very heavy, forward widening blade with a rounded tip, which falls off to the cutting edge. The shoulder is rectangular in cross-section and abruptly angled backwards giving it the excellent balance it should have for chopping.
A good and honest example which is hardly found these days. Overal good quality with the silver sleeve and well preserved crisp blade combined. Complete with original rattan bound hardwood scabbard making it a desirable piece for the Borneo collector.
Condition: Very good considering its age. The silver hilt has a small damage and shows traces of use. The blade is in near prestine condition and so is the scabbard.
Blade length: 50.5cm
Blade spine thickness: 1.1cm
Total length: 64.5cm
– van Zonneveld’s ‘Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago’
To give everybody a fair chance to be the first on new arrivals, hit the subscribe button below.