Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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knife with scabbard
  • Malaysia
  • knife with scabbard, late 1800s–1993
  • Where object was made: Malaysia
  • iron?, wood, bone, animal hair, string, animal skin, plant fiber, cotton, gum resin, wire?, carving, dyeing, braiding
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: a 79 x 8 x 4 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: a 31 1/8 x 3 1/8 x 1 9/16 in
    Object Length/Width/Depth: b 60 x 6 x 4.5 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: b 23 5/8 x 2 3/8 x 1 3/4 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3529.a,b

The large knife (2007.3529.a) has a wooden scabbard (2007.3529.b).

The knife has an elaborately carved bone handle that resembles a very stylized boar's head. There is a large tassel of hair in black and red at the top of the head, a short tuft at top of the snout and on either side of the head. The base of the handle is wrapped with twisted material, possibly wire with a black resin end. The blade has one cutting edge. The blunt edge is decorated toward the distal end with small holes.

The scabbard is two pieces of dark brown wood, bound together at regular intervals with strips of braided string. The proximal end is carved with leaf-like designs on the front. There is a strip of animal skin that wraps behind the carving and a vertically oriented strip of cotton cloth and plant fiber. Tufts of black animal hair are held in place at every band of braided string (except the top one) with resin.