Sword “niabor”

A typical nyabor that continues the shape and decor programme of Jimpul 02. The blade has a pronounced krowit, which characterizes the sword as “male”. The blade is strongly curved and front-loaded and can be called a very effective cutting weapon. The cutting edge shows a regular, even shadow of hardness. This is further emphasised by the slight etching patination.

The handle is of puristic elegance. It shows an artificial patination (probably betel sap) and the distinctive finger hook typical for nyabur, which ends in an integral connector formed by concentric beads. The flanks of the large pommel are decorated with floral elements in flat relief, composed entirely of floral and leaf motifs. Flower motifs are the final abstraction of the original dragon or mythical creature motif in the Malay-Muslim region, which has probably been further alienated by Muslim standards over the centuries. But already in Indian-Hindu Buddhist art it can be observed that the makkara and kala, primordial primordial beings that embody creation and destruction and new creation, are transformed into lotus and other ornaments. The motif of the World Tree is also often combined with the makkara, as it embodies the deep sea or – related to it – the earth in which the World Tree has its roots. Thus the axial, vertical order of the cosmos in the lower, middle and upper or god world is addressed, as well as the path of the souls that wander the planes. The World Tree is the seat of the messenger birds of the gods and the axis connecting the planes of existence.

The neck of the handle is framed by a long multi-piece brass ferrule decorated with geometric decorations.

Object Sword “niabor”, “duku amat”, “beada”
Culture Borneo West-, Sarawak, Dayak, Iban
Time 19th century
Dimensions Length 72 cm
Material Steel, stag horn, soft metal
Supplementing Literature Back to room view