Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Overall length

30.8 cm

Blade length

23 cm

Blade thickness

Base 10 mm

Middle 5 mm

Near tip 3 mm

Blade width

Base 18 mm

Middle 14 mm

Near tip 11 mm

Weight

135 grams

Origin

Sumatra, Indonesia

Materials

Iron / steel, black buffalo horn
(domesticated, non-CITES)

Dating

Probably 19th century

Sold

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

A charming little sewar dagger from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. It has a thick, inward curving blade that was forge folded and deeply etched to show the forging lines as a topography. 

The most striking aspect of it is the bird's head grip, meticulously carved out of a single piece of black water buffalo horn. The carving is lively and crisp, with no damage whatsoever. No scabbard.

The sewar is alternatively known as sewah (Alas), siwaih (Aceh), sewah (Gayo) and seiva (Minangkabau).1

An 1839 account:

"The Malays of Sumatra generally wear the same weapons as those of the Peninsula, with the addition of the rudus and pemandap, sorts of swords, and the suvar, a sort of small dagger, used for assassination."

Notes
1. Albert G. van Zonneveld; Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, Leiden, 2001. Pages 120-121.
2. Thomas John Newbold; Political and statistical account of the British settlements in the Straits of Malacca, Vol II, J. Murray, 1839. Page 212.

Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra
Sewar dagger from Sumatra

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

A type of long keris often described as "execution keris".

€1400,-

A sikin panjang with a triple golden crown.

€1100,-

Of an early type with dramatic widened shape.

€4500,-

With gold and black painted face with geometric decor.

€7600,-

A very rare example of a type of all-leather tube quiver

€5600,-

Adjusted for use on a Japanese sword.

€1600,-
ARTICLE
The Bikaner Armory
The enthusiast of Indian arms and armor will sooner or later hear a...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Markings on Chinese swords
Introduction I always like studying markings on arms because in ma...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Measurements of an Ottoman bow
For the bowyers and archery researchers, detailed measurements of a...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Measurements of a Manchu bow
I decided to carefully document some notable items, among which thi...
Read the article