Language: Murut
Source: Zonneveld, 2021

Description

The parapat is a large saber used by the Murut people of the northern part of Borneo. It is characterized by a long, narrow blade of even width from base to tip, ending in a downward sloped point. The blade flats remain undecorated. Some have one or two grooves.1

The hilt is invariably made of wood, of a characteristic forked shape. In between the two forked ends is usually a carving in wood, on the more ornate examples the carving extends beyond the forked pommel. Part of the hilt is covered by a brass sleeve that widens to a small guard on the blade side, called umbo. The brass sleeve seldom reaches to the forked end, but usually stops a little short of it, the remainder being covered with plaited rattan.

The scabbard is usually made of two slabs of wood, connected with rattan or metal strips or wire. The spaces between the wrappings are often decorated with geometric patterns. To the inner side is attached a bark pocket decorated with hair. 2

It is mostly known in the Western collecting works as pakayun, which literally means "what I wear". This is in following of a paper from 1901 using this as the name. 3

Pakayun swordPakayun hilt

A parapat.
Mandarin Mansion inventory 2021

 

Notes
1. Albert G. van Zonneveld; Traditionele wapens van Borneo, de uitrusting van de koppensnellers. Deel III, zwaarden en messen. Sunfield Publishing, 2021. Page 169.
2. R. Shelford; A provisional classification of the swords of the Sarawak tribes. Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 31. January-June 1901. Presented 12th November 1901.
3. Ibid.

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