From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Slagzwaard met ijzeren lemmet TMnr A-1236.jpg
A Klewang of South Sumatra, pre-1889.
Type Cutlass
Place of origin Indonesian archipelago
Service history
Used by Native Indonesians
Wars Aceh War
Length 40-70cm

Blade type Single edge, slight convex grind
Hilt type Water buffalo horn, wood
Scabbard/sheath Wood

The Klewang is a collective noun for swords and machetes of various shapes and origin found all over the Indonesian archipelago.[1] In size, weight and shape it is halfway between the Golok and the Kampilan or Pedang (sword or long sword). The style of the Klewang differs between the various cultures of Indonesia; where the blade is usually single-edged, and is either straight or slightly curved. It is carried for show by followers of chiefs, or taken on expeditions to market or nightly walks in the kampung, is worn without a sheath[2] although there are variety of those that comes with sheath.

During the Aceh War the Acehnese Klewangs proved very effective in close quarters combat with Dutch troops and the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army adopted a heavy cutlass, also called Klewang, to counter it. Mobile troops armed with carbines and Klewangs succeeded in suppressing Aceh resistance where traditional infantry with rifle and bayonet had failed. From that time on until the 1950s the Royal Dutch East Indies Army, Royal Dutch Army, Royal Dutch Navy and Dutch police used these cutlasses called Klewang.

An Acehnese collection of Kris (hung vertically) and Klewang (hung diagonally) during the Dutch colonial period, circa 1893-1895.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Albert G Van Zonneveld (2002). Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago. Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land. ISBN 9-0545-0004-2. 
  2. ^ Christian Snouck Hurgronje (1901). The Acehnese, Volume 1. Book On Demand. ASIN B005G1O9SM. 

External links[edit]