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Surik (sword)

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Surik (sword)

A Surik from Maubisse, East Timor.
Type Sword
Place of origin Timor (Timor-Leste, West Timor, Indonesia), Indonesia (Jambi, North Sumatra, West Sumatra)
Service history
Used by Timorese, Batak
Blade type Single edge
Hilt type Water buffalo horn
Scabbard/sheath Wood

The Surik is a traditional sword of the island of Timor. The first coat of arms of East Timor depicts a crossed Suriks.


The Surik has a single edge blade. The width of the blade narrows from the base down to the tip. Most of the handle is made from horn, and is decorated with tassels to look tough. Goat's hair or horse's hair is attached to the handle. Carving of eye at the center of the handle is meant to strengthen its supernatural power. The sheath of this sword is made of wood.


For the Belu people of Nusa Tenggara, the Surik is considered as a sacred sword. It's supernatural abilities depend on the person who wield the sword. Therefore, it is believed by the people that no commoner could touch the Surik, or the else the sword would turn against that person. Because of that, the community will take counsel to determine who should wield the Surik before going to war. The Surik is also used in traditional dance in Timor called, Tari Surik Laleok, which is meant to portray the local warrior's customs. Suriks were also worn by the Meos, the foremost fighters, and usually also the most successful head-hunters of the village.[1]

Surik also refers to another sword used by the Batak people of North Sumatra, as well in other provinces such as West Sumatra and Jambi in Indonesia.


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Further reading

See also

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