Sikin Panjang

IN46 Sikin Pajang

Code IN46

This is a Sikin Panjang (Peudeung) sword from Northern Sumatra, the most popular fighting weapon in that region of Indonesia, especially during the Aceh wars against the Dutch (c. 1873 − 1914). THE NEW YORK TIMES, on May 6th, 1873, wrote: 

A sanguinary battle has taken place in Aceh, a native Kingdom occupying the Northern portion of the island of Sumatra. The Dutch delivered a general assault and now we have details of the result. The attack was repulsed with great slaughter. The Dutch general was killed, and his army put to disastrous flight. It appears, indeed, to have been literally decimated.

The overall length is 27 inches. The blade is 22 inches long measured along the spine. The blade width is 1 ½ inches. In the final 1 ¼ inch of the blade, the edge curves up in a quarter circle radius to the tip.  The blade features a single wide fuller on both sides in the first 15 inches from the forte along the top edge. In cross-section, this provide the back of the blade back with a strong "T-shape".  However, the blade's cross-section overall is a wedge with the bevel edge sharpened on the outside right side only. The blade is ⅜ inch thick at forte, tapering distally to point.

Although I am in the process of cleaning the blade, at present it shows considerable surface blackening and some pits due to rust. The visible portions of the steel suggest lamination, but this determination awaits a thorough cleaning and etch.

The integrated ferrule features a cupped-shaped or "crown" stem ring with 8 rounded petals.

The hilt is 4 ½ inches long and made of hardwood. Hilt including portion under brass bolster is hardwood 4 ¼ inches long,  in oval cross-section, increasing in size and turning slowly downward to pommel.  Although many types of hilts are found on sikin, the traditional hilt is invariably forked or mouth-shaped (see for example this other sikin).  In contrast, this hilt, similar to the type called "Tapak Guda" or "horse's hoof", more closely resembles a hilt typically found on the sewar dagger from the same region. However, this hilt is much larger than one found on a sewar. It is not typical of the Sikin sword.

The hilt is enhanced with a bolster about 1 ¼ inch wide, of brass and decorated with embossed and chased floral patterns. The hilt and bolster likely are replacements; the blade is much older.

(Sikin, Sikim)