A Balato sword, pre-1918.
|Place of origin||Indonesia (Nias)|
|Used by||Nias people|
|Blade type||Single edge, convex grind|
Balato (sometimes also known as Baltoe, Balatu, Balatu Sebua, Ballatu, Foda, Gari Telegu, Klewang Buchok Berkait, Roso Sebua or Telagoe) is a sword that originates from Nias, an island off the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia.
Balato is a sword with large variety of blades, hilts and scabbards. Three types of blades can be distinguished, all broadening at the point:
The hilts are very varied, but all can be reduced to an animal's head or mouth, most of the time the lasara (mythical creature), made in a plain stylized way or in a complex, richly decorated form. Most of this hilts are made from wood, but brass ones do occur. Wooden hilts have brass ferrule broadening towards the blade.
The scabbard is made of wood with brass or rattan bindings along the scabbard. Often a round rattan basket is attached to the scabbard to keep various amulets in. Normally, the southern Balatos have more decorated baskets on their scabbards compared to the northern region.
In South Nias, the locals practice a war dance called Faluaya (or Fataele) dance. In this dance, the dancers wore colorful clothing consists of black, yellow and red, fitted with a crown on the head. Like a knight in battle, dancers also carry Baluse (shields), swords and spears as a means of defense from enemy attack. The Baluse that were used are made of wood shaped like banana leaves and are held on the left hand which serves to deflect enemy attacks, while the sword or spear in the right hand serves to counter enemy attacks. Both of these weapons are the main weapons used for fighting by a Nias knight.
In those days, young men in the village were required to leap over the rock of 2 meters in height during the Fahombo (or Hombo Batu) ceremony in order to attain adulthood. This would also signify that those men are able to protect and to defend their village once achieving adulthood. Therefore, the Si'ulu (village head) would form a Fataele team and recruit these men.In the past, the Nias people were feared for their headhunting practices. It is believed that the victims of headhunting will become their servants in the afterlife. Today, headhunting are no longer practiced as majority of the Nias population are Protestant Christians.
The kampilan is a type of single-edged sword, traditionally used by various ethnic groups in the Philippine archipelago. It has a distinct profile, with the tapered blade being much broader and thinner at the point than at its base, sometimes with a protruding spikelet along the flat side of the tip. The design of the pommel varies between ethnic groups, but it usually depicts either a bakunawa (dragon), a buaya (crocodile), a kalaw (hornbill), or a kakatua (cockatoo).
The shashka or shasqua, is a kind of sabre; single-edged, single-handed, and guardless backsword. In appearance, the shashka is midway between a typically curved sabre and a straight sword. It has a slightly curved blade, and can be effective for both cutting and thrusting.
A kalis is a type of double-edged Filipino sword, often with a "wavy" section, similar to a keris. Just like the keris, the kalis's double-edged blade can be used for both cutting and thrusting; except that the kalis is much larger than most keris, making it a sword rather than a dagger.
The gothic hilted swords were a family of swords carried by officers and some NCOs of the British Army between 1822 and the present day. They were primarily infantry swords, although they were also regulation pattern for some other officers such as surgeons and staff officers. The term “Gothic hilt” is derived from a perceived similarity between the curved bars of the guard and the arches found in Gothic architecture. They were elegant aesthetically pleasing weapons, although they were considered by some to be mediocre fighting swords. The weapon and its variants had a very long service life.
Mandau is the traditional weapon of the Dayak people of Borneo. It is also known as Parang Ilang among the Bidayuh, Iban and Penan people, Malat by the Kayan people or Baieng by the Kenyah people or Bandau by Lun Bawang or Pelepet/Felepet by Lundayeh. Mandau is mostly ceremonial. However, a less elaborate version called Ambang is used as an everyday practical tool.
The pattern 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword was the sword used by the British heavy cavalry, and King's German Legion Dragoons, through most of the period of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It played an especially notable role, in the hands of British cavalrymen, at the battles of Salamanca and Waterloo. The pattern was adopted by Sweden and was used by some Portuguese cavalry.
The barong is a thick, leaf-shaped, single-edged blade sword. It is a weapon used by Muslim Filipino ethnolinguistic groups like the Tausug, Sama-Bajau, or Yakan in the Southern Philippines.
Parang Nabur is a sword that originates from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia. Most of this sword is made during the Banjarmasin Sultanate period in the 19th century.
Sewar refers to a dagger of Indonesian origin, typically carried in a belt and used mainly in Sumatra, Indonesia. The blade is also referred to as Sewah by the Gayo people, Seiva by the Minangkabau people, Siva by the Alas people, and Siwaih by the Acehnese people.
Sikin Panjang is a sword originating from northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
Wedung is a traditional large knife of the Javanese people and the Balinese people originating from Indonesia.
Gari is a sword that originates from Nias, an island off the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia. It is a term used for a type of sword found only in North Nias.
A Piso Halasan is a traditional sword of the Batak people from North Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia.
Alamang or Sonri is a sacred sword or cutlass of the Bugis and Makassarese people in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Si Euli is a traditional dagger or knife that originates from Nias, an island off the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia. There are versions of this knife worn by men or for daily use.
Baluse or Baloese is a traditional shield of the Nias people originating from Nias, an island off the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Baluse in the Northern Nias is somewhat smaller than those of the rest of the island.
Nias people are an ethnic group native to Nias, an island off the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia. In the Nias language, the Nias people are known as Ono Niha, which literally means 'descendants of human'. Nias island is known as Tanö Niha, with Tanö meaning 'land' in the Nias language.
The bangkung or bangkon, is a short sword originating in the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines. The bangkung was used primarily by the Moro people of the Sulu and is not associated with Moros in other areas such as Mindanao, although it is sometimes found in coastal regions. The bangkung is a slashing weapon, meant to deliver hacking type blows. While the bangkung is a very effective sword, it was not popular unlike the panabas and the pirah and for this reason it is one of the most rarely found Moro edged weapons. Few were produced and even fewer survive.
Pisau raut is a Dayak whittling-knife that serves as a tool to prepare the rattan found in the island of Kalimantan in Indonesia. It is placed in the same sheath as the mandau, the traditional weapon of the Dayak people. Despite being placed in the same scabbard sheath as the weapon mandau, the pisau raut is mostly used as a crafting tool.
Dao is the sword of the Naga people of Northeastern India, mainly in the Indian states of Assam and Nagaland. The sword, with its wooden hilt, and unique square form is used for digging as well as for killing.
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