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COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Zwaard met gevest van been en schede TMnr A-3001.jpg
A Niabor, pre-1887.
Type Sword, Cutlass
Place of origin Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, Indonesia)
Service history
Used by Dayak (Iban / Sea Dayak)
Length 60-90cm

Blade type Single edge, convex grind
Hilt type Antler/deer horn, wooden
Scabbard/sheath Wooden

Niabor (other names also include Beadah, Naibor, Nyabor, Nyabur, Parang Njabur Laki-Laki) is a curved sword from Borneo, a characteristic weapon of the Sea-Dayaks.[1] It has a convex edge and concave back broadening towards the tip so that so that the center of gravity lies at the point. The edge curves in a faint curve towards the tip. The blade usually has one or more broken hollow sections and no midrib. They are usually not decorated. In some versions, a nose-shaped projection is forged to the blade, which is seated on the cutting edge. This projection serves as a kind of parry and finger guard is called Kundieng. It is typical of these swords. Below the finger guard of the blade is rectangular. This place is called Sangau. Between the finger guard and the hilt is called Temporian. The hilt is made of antler or deer horn, just as like the Mandau. The pommel is carved in the traditional way and are never decorated with animal hair.[2]

The Niabor is very identical to another Sea Dayak sword called Langgai Tinggang. Niabor is also not to be mistaken with Parang Nabur.

See also


  1. British Association for the Advancement of Science (1901). Report of the Annual Meeting, Volume 71. J. Murray. 
  2. Albert G Van Zonneveld (2002). Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago. Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land. ISBN 9-0545-0004-2. 

Further reading

  • George Cameron Stone, Donald J. LaRocca, A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor: in All Countries and in All Times, Verlag Courier Dover Publications, 1999, page 482, ISBN 978-0-486-40726-5
  • Otis Tufton Mason, The origins of invention: a study of industry among primitive peoples, Verlag Books for Libraries Press, 1895, page 371
  • Evangelista, N. and Gaugler, The encyclopedia of the sword, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995, page 644, ISBN 978-0-313-27896-9
  • Ruth Gertwagen, Avshalom Zemer, Rena Minkoff, Pirates, the skull and crossbones, Verlag Haifa Museums, the National Maritime Museum, 2002, page 144, ISBN 978-965-7067-38-3

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