Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 1st September 2005, 08:19 PM   #1
JeffS
Member
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: COVID refugee
Posts: 94
Default Comments requested

Hello

I would love to receive any information or suggestions concerning this Sewar. I originally thought it was a Keris, but learned on Bladeforums of my mistake. I recently received this from my mother's husband who's father collected it in Sumatra between 1915 - 1918.



-- Jeff
BTW - This is a great forum. I'm looking forwad to learning about collecting Ethnographic weapons.

Last edited by Dizos : 1st September 2005 at 08:35 PM.
JeffS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st September 2005, 10:05 PM   #2
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,595
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizos
I would love to receive any information or suggestions concerning this Sewar.

Welcome Jeff,

This seems to be a really nice piece with well-tempered edge (that dark zone extending from the tip along the edge).

Please post close-ups if possible - this would help assessing the materials utilized.

Quote:
I'm looking forwad to learning about collecting Ethnographic weapons.

Well, you'd probably be better off if you were to sell this right away - this stuff can be pretty addictive...

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 05:21 AM   #3
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,594
Default

Kai has a good point about the addiction problem.....uh.....anyway, it looks like the bands on the scabbard and the hilt are silver with the pommel of the sewar and the bottom of the scabbard possibly being of bone, though better closeups would be more helpful and help determine materials better (especially if bone or ivory). The black part of the hilt of course is horn.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 01:23 PM   #4
Alam Shah
Member
 
Alam Shah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,248
Default Search forum for info...

A very nice sewar indeed.
Welcome to the forum.
You can search this forum for more info, under "sewar", "sewah", "siwah".
Alam Shah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2005, 04:12 AM   #5
JeffS
Member
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: COVID refugee
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
This seems to be a really nice piece with well-tempered edge (that dark zone extending from the tip along the edge).


What you are seeing there is a shadow from the scanner instead of a temper line. The blade flats are contoured - almost grooved, sort of fuller like. Sorry, not sure what the correct terminology is. Hopefully the larger pics will help you see what I mean. I also included a closeup to show the grain texture in the steel.

Quote:
The black part of the hilt of course is horn.


Actually it is some type of dark hardwood. I don't recognize the type though.

Thanks again for helping me learn about this. This is very exciting. I'm brand new to the world of ethnographic weapons, though I do have a Kinjal I purchased in Turkey that I will post another time. I'm curious if it is the real deal or not.




JeffS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2005, 09:51 AM   #6
Ferguson
Member
 
Ferguson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kernersville, NC, USA
Posts: 787
Send a message via AIM to Ferguson
Default

I think the dark part of the hilt is indeed carabao horn. I zoomed in on your excellent photo of the hilt and the grain looks like old horn. See how at a couple of places you see lighter streaks that are almost very fine cracks? Also, it looks like a small "bug bite" where an insect has been eating the handle, common with horn. Of course, you have it in your hand and can see better than a picture, so it may be wood.

Very nice sewar!

Steve Ferguson
Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2005, 03:36 AM   #7
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,594
Default

I agree with Ferguson regarding the look of the hilt - looks like horn to me. Also now that I can see better in the pictures, the pommel looks more like bone.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2005, 03:14 AM   #8
JeffS
Member
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: COVID refugee
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson
I think the dark part of the hilt is indeed carabao horn. I zoomed in on your excellent photo of the hilt and the grain looks like old horn. See how at a couple of places you see lighter streaks that are almost very fine cracks? Also, it looks like a small "bug bite" where an insect has been eating the handle, common with horn. Of course, you have it in your hand and can see better than a picture, so it may be wood.

Very nice sewar!

Steve Ferguson


Thanks Steve (and everyone else who pointed this out)

My imagination was seeing wood grain in the handle, but now I see that you are all correct. The grain lines all run parallel and looks fibrous like horn. I was wondering what that hole was.

I also re-read the post by kai and looked closer at the temper line he was noting. I'm used to very distinct temper lines in modern forged blades so am wondering if I also jumped to conclusions concerning the "fuller" shadow causing the temper line. It is not distinct but the steel along the edge does seem to be bit darker.

What do you suppose caused the grainy pattern in the steel. Did they use some kind of wootz?
JeffS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2005, 02:30 PM   #9
mmontoro
Member
 
mmontoro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 91
Default

The ferrule looks a little Batak and the blade rencong-ish. Unusual and nice example to me.

Last edited by mmontoro : 13th September 2005 at 02:10 AM.
mmontoro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2005, 05:57 PM   #10
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,595
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizos
What do you suppose caused the grainy pattern in the steel. Did they use some kind of wootz?

Not wootz/bulat but the blade seems to be pattern welded.

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th September 2020, 10:06 PM   #11
JeffS
Member
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: COVID refugee
Posts: 94
Default

Adding photo since original photos (15 years ago!) are no longer hosted.
Any thoughts which Sumatran ethnic group this may have come from?
Attached Images
 
JeffS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2020, 05:43 AM   #12
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,595
Thumbs up

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for rescuing this thread by making a pic available again!

Could you possibly add some more close-ups, please?

How good is the fit of the blade in the scabbard?

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2020, 06:54 PM   #13
JeffS
Member
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: COVID refugee
Posts: 94
Default

Unfortunately I don't have it with me, but here are the pictures I took in 2005. As I recall the fit in the scabbard is good though the "cross piece" portion of the scabbard is lose and slides off easily (this can be seen in the photos). This was collected along with a Batak pustaha which sadly was not also given to me! However I do not have evidence that they were collected from the same community.
Attached Images
     
JeffS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2020, 09:17 PM   #14
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,595
Post

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for the additional pics! This is a tough nut to crack and will possibly need detailed personal examination for reliable results.

From the pics, my estimate would be:
1. Genuine antique rencong blade from Aceh (these are known to have diffundated into more southern areas)
2. The hilt with silver ferrule vibes well with Karo Batak usage; might well be antique or possibly pre-WW2. How is the bone(?) end piece attached?
3. The carved motifs on the scabbard appear to be a somewhat later style that developed during the 20th century; it seems to often come out of workshops in Medan rather than traditional Batak regions. The type of crosspiece is not typical for any Batak group (also of Aceh origin originally). From the craftsmanship and materials, I'd be inclined to believe the scabbard is a post-WW2 replacement.

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2020, 10:28 PM   #15
JeffS
Member
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: COVID refugee
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Jeff,

Thanks for the additional pics! This is a tough nut to crack and will possibly need detailed personal examination for reliable results.

From the pics, my estimate would be:
1. Genuine antique rencong blade from Aceh (these are known to have diffundated into more southern areas)
2. The hilt with silver ferrule vibes well with Karo Batak usage; might well be antique or possibly pre-WW2. How is the bone(?) end piece attached?
3. The carved motifs on the scabbard appear to be a somewhat later style that developed during the 20th century; it seems to often come out of workshops in Medan rather than traditional Batak regions. The type of crosspiece is not typical for any Batak group (also of Aceh origin originally). From the craftsmanship and materials, I'd be inclined to believe the scabbard is a post-WW2 replacement.

Regards,
Kai


Thank you for the insight, particularly clarifying the blade is rencong. I don't recall how the bone is attached. Wish I could get my hands on it, but currently in storage on the other side of the US. We have solid provenance from between 1915 - 1918 for the entire piece as that is when it was collected (by my mother's late husband's father who was there for work). It had sat in a shoe box since then so the wear visible on it would have been for a period of use before that. Do (or did) the Karo have datu using pustaha like the Toba? It was a fascinating thing to look at (I've attached a couple of pictures of the pages, wish I had taken more of them!) and interesting to wonder if there might be a link between the pustaha and the recong. Sadly the story is lost to time.
Attached Images
  
JeffS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 10:54 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.