Sikin panjang with inlaid blade
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Sheathed 74.4 cm

Sword 72.3 cm

Blade length

55 cm

Blade thickness

Base 10 mm

Middle 5 mm

5 cm from tip 3.5 cm

Blade width

Base 40.5 mm

Middle 41 mm

5 cm from tip 41.5 cm

Weight without scabbard

636 grams

Point of balance

13.7 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, horn, wood, gold alloy, gold, enamel

Origin

Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Dating

Probably before 1860

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Introduction

The sikin panjang was the standard fighting sword for the Acehnese. It has a single-edged, straight blade, and a forked, horn hilt.

Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, a scholar of Oriental cultures & Advisor on Native Affairs to the Dutch East Indies writes:

“Persons of position or those who are going on a journey carry in addition the Achehnese sword which is the ordinary weapon used in fighting.
It is of uniform width from end to end, and is placed in a sheath.”
1

 

Portrait of a group from retinue nobleman

Men and children from the retinue of an Acehnese nobleman.
Notice the rencong and sikin panjang.
Photographer unknown. Tropenmuseum Collection TM-60043266.

 

Golden crowns

Some of the better sikin panjang have a golden “crown” at the base of the blade called puco when it has rounded ends and glupa when it is pointed. The latter seem to have been used mainly on the northeastern coast of Aceh.

These crowns come in anywhere from one to four tiers, their number seems to be connected with rank. Sets of crowned sikin panjang and rencong were presented by the Sultan to uleebalang a class of hereditary nobles who acted as governors, and other dignitaries.

The lowest rank to be allowed to wear the sikin panjang and rencong with the golden crown are the panglima prang. Their weapons typically have a single-tiered crown. We know that the Sultan of Aceh had weapons with four crowns. That leaves two to three crowns for important people in-between, like the uleebalang, nobility who were in charge of local regions.

 

Notes
1. Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, The Acehnese, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1906.
2. Ibid. Page 93.

 

This example

A very good example of an Acehnese sikin panjang with a double-tiered golden crown of the rounded style. The blade is of textbook form for these, straight, single-edged with one groove near the spine. The blade is in original, untouched condition with a nice patina. It is nicely pattern welded with a burl grain pattern.

The base and spine of the blade are inlaid with gold, thickly applied as to create a relief. The golden crown is in good condition, still retaining much of its original dark blue and green enamel.

The hilt is a beautiful amber-colored buffalo horn, with carved ribs for added grip.

It comes in its original wooden scabbard, tastefully engraved with traditional Acehnese motifs. It has a so-called "magic square" on the left side, for talismanic purposes.

Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade
Nice Acehnese sikin panjang with inlaid blade

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