Dagger “si euli”

The dagger with a straight blade is placed diagonally in the middle of the belt by the wearer.  The wooden scabbard, wrapped in braided rattan ribbons, is decorated with two opposite lizards at the sheath mouthpiece.  These creatures have a lizard body and the face of a monkey, a motif which can also be found on objects of the Batak (indigenous people on Sumatra). The scabbard has a curved brass end piece attached to it, the handle, which is also cast in brass, has a grooved ivory “cap”.

Swords of the traditional kind are part of the formal costume of every Niasian man to this day. Sometimes the swords balato are called gari (in a narrower sense another niasian sword type) or gari telegu. Other terms that appear in literature are si oli warasi, whereby si oli or si euli is usually applied to another type of blade, namely a knife with equally keris-like features on the hilt and scabbard, which probably originated in the late East Javanese period in the 14th and 15th centuries, following models from Java, Padang and Aceh.

Object Dagger “si euli”
Culture North Nias
Time Around 1900
Dimensions Length 55cm
Material Steel, wood, brass, ivory
Supplementing Literature Back to room view