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Nias Island Sword
A rare complete example
Fine blade type

Nias Island Sword Balato A rare complete example Fine blade type www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A fine and rare Nias Head Hunting sword or Balato, Nias Island, Sumatra.

This Nias Balato measures 66cms long in its scabbard, 64cms out and has a blade length of 49.5cms.
This sword type was owned by Chiefs, noblemen and warriors and used in head hunting expeditions.
The carved hilt is a mythical creature known as 'Lasara'. This creature always has a wide-open mouth with its tongue sticking out, large curved teeth and small horns on both sides. Above the Lasara is a small demon or 'Bekhu'. This demon 'Bekhu' is typically displayed as a small man or monkey.
The blade is a narrow, single-edged and of a profile unique to Nias Island. Its cutting edge remains very sharp.
The scabbard is of dark timber with its two halves secured together by bands of braided rattan.
Retained to the throat of the scabbard is the Nias swords 'magic ball'. The woven rattan ball shows a rich warm old patina consistent with the sword itself. Mounted to the exterior of the 'magic ball' are various tucks and jaw bones.

A fine and rare sword.
For further details, see 'Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago' by Albert van Zonneveld, Figure 31 to 38, 60 to 64, and 314-316..

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