The handle on the Sarawak parang given by Danny is really good
There’s nothing wrong with the parang handle I made as posted earlier. But when I held the Sarawak parangs given by Mr Danny Voon from Kuching, I knew I needed to give my parang handle a make over. I have to do it, the blade after all was purchased for this purpose.
Here is a video of a traditional furnace which belongs to the Bidayuhs in Semban Sarawak. Local guide and villager Glen and his father was kind enough to setup the furnace just to demonstrate how their old furnace works. The feathers on the ‘plungers’ are not from chickens but from a particular type of raptor.
Kitchen knives used by the Bidayuh women in Semban
I was equally astounded by the traditional blades used by the Bidayuh women in Semban. While the shapes of the blades are quite the same to their ‘bigger’ parang cousins, the method in which they are used is artistic. But the biggest surprise to me had to be the use of bamboo as a cutting tool.
The hilt of a Bidayuh’s Parang…wait till you see the rest!
The cutting tools used by the Bidayuhs in Semban are really unique and inspiring. From large Parangs to kitchen knives, there are even ‘non-metal’ cutting tools still being used by these amazingly beautiful people. To me, they are true testaments of how a deep understanding and appreciation of life and the world around enables the creation of functional and practical tools. Amazing? You bet!
Since my trip to Sarawak, I have fallen in love with parangs from Sarawak. Old school it may be but these blades of the Orang Ulu are amazingly functional and tried tested. I have a few parang Ilang but recent pieces given to me as gifts by Danny Voon of Kuching has really impressed me a lot.
This is a small parang ‘gift’ project for a friend. I will have to make the wooden handle for it, as well as a sheath. The blade was purchased from the Bidor parang maker some time back. A standard blade sold everywhere. I decided to do this project for two reasons. As a gift and more so as a ‘practice’ at making handles for parang.
I guess the Parang makers have gone upscale in terms of operations
I have always heard about the Bidor Parang. One local jungle survival instructor I know swears by the Parangs from Bidor. So, on an early morning drive back to Kuala Lumpur from Kedah, I decided to take a detour off the main highway, in search of the Bidor Parang maker.
This is a beautiful Sarawak Parang blade I received from my friend Apai74. Apai74 or James is no stranger in knife forums like BritishBlades and MKF. I got in touch with him some time back through a mutual friend and a few months ago, James’ package of ‘Parang’ arrived at my office. Oh…what a beauty.