Sumbawa sword
Overall length

51 cm

Blade length

41 cm

Blade thickness

Base 5.5 mm

Middle 4.3 mm

Widest at tip 3.5 mm

Blade width

Base 18 mm

Middle 28 mm

Widest at tip 35 mm

Weight without scabbard

336 grams

Point of balance

13 cm from hilt


Bima Sultanate, Sumbawa


Iron, buffalo horn, wood, silver, leather

Price €1250, -

Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

The Island of Sumbawa is situated in the central-southern part of Indonesia. Between 1620 and 1958 A.D. the eastern part of the island was ruled by the Bima Sultanate. For the most part, Bima was a stable kingdom and a prosperous hub of trade under strong Islamic and Hindu cultural influences. Kabeala was the East Sumbanese word for parang, which in turn is Indonesian for sword.

This example

A rather fine specimen of this type. The blade with a pronounced widening towards the tip is forged with a boldly contrasting wood-grain pattern. The top section, seen from the side, seems to consist of two billets that have been folded back over themselves and then joined. Each "fold" is reminiscent of Tibetan "hairpin forging".

The downward curving hilt is carved from a single piece of black water buffalo horn. The grain in the horn nicely follows the shape of the hilt. The pistol shape at first looks odd on what is purely a cutting weapon, but it actually enables the user to add leverage to the cut with the little finger placed just behind the notch near the end.

The wooden scabbard is entirely covered with silver sheet. The silver is of high purity as indicated by the blueish hue in its tarnish. It consists of three pieces, a mouthpiece, endpiece and a plate covering the midsection. Mouth and endpieces are joined at the seem while the middle section is joined in the middle of what would be the inside of the scabbard, worn against the body. The other side is much more finely worked, including the detail in the repousse decoration.

The decoration consists of floral scrollwork, floral sprays, vegetal borders, and geometric shapes worked in repousse and then chased for added detail. The style reminds of Javanese work.

Attached to the scabbard are two loops for a suspension. A small silver chain is attached.


Sumbawa kabaela are fairly rare on the market, and when encountered most are simple affairs with wooden scabbards held together by bands of rattan. Among those that are entirely silver-clad, the work on this example ranks quite well. 

A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala
A Sumbawa Kabeala

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

The Yagami school were excellent carvers of iron, known for their 1000 monkey designs.


A small pointy Bhutanese dagger in a silver scabbard of a style associated with the ruling house.


Fine work and one of the very few enamelled tsuba by this maker.


In the style of a Malay keris panjang.


Exceptionally large pierced iron guard for a Chinese yidao; "virtuous saber".


With all silver construction, including the blade.