Monday, July 14, 2008

Sundang as a Malay weapon

Sundang as a Malay weapon
In Malaysian the sundang is the only two-edged sword of any importance, The straight one-edged sword with blade or even width is called the Malay peninsular chenangkas and in Jawa lamang. A heavier, two handed sword is called berandal in Borneo where it is most usually found. The Chinese and Japanese two handed sword is know as jenawi.

Some chenangkas have a metal cross piece at right angles to the axis of the hilt, perhaps to prevent the hand sliding up the hilt when the weapon is wielded by wrist pressure. Some are undoubtedly of recent manufacture and may be fakes.

Of the greater interest, and usually of finer workmanship too, is the curved sword known to the Malay as shamsir. This term is strictly applicable to only to the curved saber or scimitar of Persian origin. The Indian shamsir or tulwar is a cross-hilted sword. The hilt is usually of brass, sometimes of iron or silver, with pommel at the end to prevent the hand slipping when drawing cut is made. The pommel is large and hollow for lightness’ sake so that the balance of the sword is not upset.
Sundang as a Malay weapon
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