Indonesia & Philippines
A Fine and heavy Parang Latok Sword
Origin: Kalimantan (Borneo)
Date: mid - late 19 C.
The Parang Latok is a rare Sword / Machete from Kalimantan or Sarawak – Borneo. It is characterized by the heavy wedge blade widening toward the tip, with its lower unsharpened part and the hilt abruptly bent upward, allowing two hands grip of the sword. This one has a massive 24 inches long blade, and is exceptionally thick 16. mm. A square heavy blade extension and a dark horn hilt very delicately carved and mounted with chased silver collar. Wood scabbard beautifully carved at the top. Total length 32 inches. Mid -Late 19th century. Very good condition. An old crack to the scabbard.
In his book Adventures among the Dyaks of Borneo (1865) Pages 117, 118 Frederick Boyle describe two ways the local Dayak used the Parang Latok. 1- When using for chopping wood or any other peaceful activity, the grasp was on the unsharpened bend part of the hilt. 2-When using for war purpose the full length of the sword was needed and the grasp was on the hilt. Boyle also mentioned that the Parang latok was also used for executing condemned criminals and that decapitation was achieved with a single blow.
For a similar example George Cameroon Stone 1934 P.481 Figure 613 now in the Met , Accession Number: 36.25.1390a.
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