The Keris is the most well known Malay dagger, it originated from Java and spread in the archipelago. Although very successful, it did not completely supersede other daggers which are still very popular. Sumatra is among the richest region for the variety of its daggers, where the Keris was reserved to an elite or to limited areas. 

Each ethnic group has developed its own shape of dagger. Some of them have probably a common origin with the Keris. For instance, the cundrik shape of the Rencong Aceh is probably a reminiscent of the Buddhist Vajrayana flagstaff points from Java. The Sumatra tumbuk lada, sewar, rencong and the Sulawesi badik are, like the Keris, thrusting daggers.

These daggers were worn slipped in the sarong folds, the hilt accessible from the right hand.



Tumbuk Lada






Other daggers & cutting tools

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OLD BLADES - Malay World Edged Weapons.  Copyright 2000 - 2007
Revised: 2007-03-13