Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Parang Latok

Parang Latok
Parang latok is Dayak knife, also used as a sword. It has a heavy, single edged blade widest near to the point.

The blade makes and obtuse angle with a square shank on which there is a wooden handle without a guard. It is varied in a carved wood sheath that is only long enough to hold the blade proper.

The parang latok is a weapon peculiar to the Malays, who use it with great skill; but its singular shape, incomprehensible at first sight, and at all times objectionable, has effectually barred its popularity among foreign nations.

The blade is about two feet long and a couple of inches broad at the point from which it narrows down to the junction the hilt, where it becomes square and half an inch thick.

The hilt is bent at an obtuse angle to the blade, which makes the instrument exceedingly awkward to handle; and in fact, when used for chopping wood or any peaceful purpose, the grasp is taken at the bend and not at the hilt.

In war, however, the full length of the parang is used, and it must be evident, on refection, that its cut will be very severe, since, in consequence of its peculiar bend, the edge is involuntary drawn through the wound from hilt to point, thereby enlarging and deepening the gash.
Parang Latok
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