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COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Zwaard met schede TMnr A-2977
A Pandat, pre-1887.
Type Chopper, War Sword
Place of origin Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia, West Kalimantan, Indonesia)
Service history
Used by Dayak people (Bidayuh, Kanayatn, Selako)
Length 55-70 cm

Blade type single edge, flat grind
Hilt type antler/deer horn, iron
Scabbard/sheath wood

Pandat (other names also include Kamping, Parang Pandat, Parang Pandit or Mandau Tangkitn) is the war sword of the Dayak people of northwest Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia and West Kalimantan, Indonesia) and is never used as a tool.


The Pandat has a short, heavy, single-edge blade with an iron hilt.[1] It has no real handle, but a short cross-piece of iron or bone passes through the handle.[2] The sword is handled with one or two hands, with a downward stroke. Its blade and hilt are forged from one piece and the blade is bent, just before the hilt, at an angle of 25 degrees. The bent in the blade is located in the transitional part between the blade and the hilt. Both the back and the edge are straight and run apart, so that the blade's broadest part is at the point. The blade length is generally between 55 and 70 centimetres (22 and 28 in) and the handle is about 40 centimetres (16 in) long. The sheath is usually made of wood and decorated with traditional patterns. It may be decorated with feathers or tufts of hair or simply painted red.[3]


It is thought that a downward cut would be highly inefficient and unbalanced, throwing a great strain upon the wrist. Pandat are well balanced for upward cut, but this would perhaps not be a very effective form of attack.[4] The Pandat's typically bent blade is very similar to Parang Latok which, unlike the Pandat, is used as a tool.

See alsoEdit


  1. Nick Evangelista (1995). The Encyclopedia of the Sword. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-27896-2. 
  2. Sarawak Museum (1937). Sarawak Museum Journal, Volume 4, Issues 12-15. Cornell University. 
  3. Albert G Van Zonneveld (2002). Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago. Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land. ISBN 90-5450-004-2. 
  4. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (1901). Journal, Volume 31. University of California. 

Further readingEdit

  • George Cameron Stone; Donald J. LaRocca (1999). A Glossary of The Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor: In All Countries and In All Times. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-40726-5. 
  • Evangelista, Nick; William M. Gaugler (1995). The Encyclopedia of The Sword. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-27896-9. 

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