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Nias “Balato” = Sword (RARE) Sumatra, Indonesia (FREE SHIPPING)

$250.00 (as of March 6, 2020, 6:22 am)



THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTION (IN BOLD IS TAKEN FROM A “MURNI’S IN BALI” AD) POSTED ONLINE FOR A SIMILAR SWORD. Nias Sword = “Balato” (Typical description below)- MAY NOT BE EXACTLY AS THE ITEM FOR SALE WHICH WAS A THRIFT STORE FIND BUT APPEARS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO EXAMPLES FOUND WHEN DOING AN INTERNET SEARCH FOR TRADITIONAL SWORDS FROM THE ISLAND OF NIAS. Material: Iron blade, wood and brass hilt, wood scabbard, rattan basket with tigers’ claws Style: South Nias, West Sumatra, early 20th century Background: Nias is a small island off the west coast of Sumatra, only about 80 miles long. It was called “the Island of Gold” and attracted little attention until the mid 19th century. The sword is called a Balato. They are very rare. The blade broadens to a point with an almost straight edge. The hilt is complex and richly decorated with a brass ring broadening towards the base. The carving is a lasara, which is a mythic figure linked to the god of death and darkness. It is a fanciful head, with teeth of a wild boar, the mouth of a crocodile or snake, crowned with a calao helmet and the antlers of a deer. The wooden scabbard is held together by strips of brass. A round plaited rattan basket is attached to the scabbard decorated with tiger claws, which are considered of great value.This actual item was a “thrift store” find and I am not an expert on swords, but researched extensively online and feel that it is authentic in every way. It has all the signs of years of aging without any attempts to make repairs or to “make” a replica look old. Since they were hand made, there are no two identical examples to compare. If you are interested in the sword and know where I can have it authenticated, I will do so. Additional pictures can be provided if requested.

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