In Malaysia, as in many other places, swords serve both as weapons of the warrior and as general utility tools. Categorization and naming are stongly influenced by locality, culture and language. It can be very confusing! A useful glossary of terms regarding edged weapons of the regions:  Glossary.  In general, there are a few major (and mostly consistent) types of Malay sword. Many of these types are found throughout the south-east Asian archipelago. Click on the links to see more information on these types of weapons.


  • A generic term used widely to describe any chopping weapon with a single edge.
  • Major subcategory: Golok. The Golok is a cleaver with a short, heavy blade. See for example, Golok Cepot
  • Major subcategory: Klewang (kelewang). A weapon with a straight back and a widening blade with a slant near the tip.  There may also be a spike protruding near the tip. See for example, Kelewang
  • Examples:  Parang NaburParang LatokParang AmanremuParang Ilang
  • Parang family includes - parang lading, parang candung, golok rembau, golok perak, golok kedah, parang tapik, duku, parang jenguk, parang ginah, parang belitung, sonak udang, parang bungkul, klewang and others.


Additional Malaysian blades that be categorized into other several blade families, some of which are more readily identified with other regions:

  • Pisau family - pisau belati, pisau raut, pisau wali, badik, beladau, kerambit, lawi ayam, rencung, siwah, pisau jam, tumbuk lada
  • Keris family - keris pendek, keris panjang, keris lurus, keris lok, pekaka, tajung, sundang
  • Sabit family - sabit rumput, sabit kelapa, celurit
  • Tombak family - tombak, lembing, tekpi, cucuk, serampang, tempuling, berjang
  • Kapak family - kapak besi, kapak batu, kapak binjai, kapak beliung
  • Panah family - panah, sumpit
Malay weapons