Very Rare Balato Sword, Nias - 8348
The Balato is the traditional sword of the people residing in the Nias island, South West of Sumatra. These are considered very rare and only few authentic ones can be found ( amongst the ample of late 20 C. copies) The sword offered here for sale is such a rare example. A 19 inches long blade with a sharply up-curving edge tip. Wood handle, beautifully and very elaborately carved in the shape of a mythical monster head and with a brass collar. The scabbard is wood bound with brass bands. The most interesting part of these swords is the rattan braided ball entirely covered with what looks to be canine teeth of predators: The bigger ones being possibly tiger fangs and there are about 12 like these and about the same smaller ones. This ball was used to hold talisman for good luck and victories of the sword bearer. Total length (in scabbard) 27 inches. Very good condition very good age patina on the wood and fangs. A rare authentic find . For similar swords, see A Zonneveld, Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago page 29.