A large knife similar to a machete used in Malaysia and Indonesia. The infamous Head Hunters of Borneo used them as weapons and there are still reports of them being used in cases of assaults although the practice of head hunting has long since died out. They are more commonly for use as multipurpose tools when hunting and gathering from the jungle, particularly by the various Orang Asli (original people) tribes who still retain some of their indigenous way of life. It is often essential to carry a parang when trekking through the jungle to clear a path through the underbrush, particularly where the area has been deforested and then regrown much denser close to the ground.
Although it resembles a curved kitchen knife, a parang is for chopping rather than slicing and is used like a hand axe or cleaver with the cutting action coming from the wrist. Neither is it effective for stabbing as the point is not sharpened and the weight is too far from the handle. Parangs come in many shapes and sizes and have a handle made usually from wood but sometimes from bone or ivory although mass produced versions with plastic handles are now being manufactured. They are sometimes paired with a long handled, small bladed knife for close up work such as chopping vegetables, and both are kept in a wooden sheath tied around the waist with cord.
A medium sapling or bamboo plant can be felled in just a few strokes with a parang. Make a diagonally downward cut into trunk, making sure to flick the wrist and not use the elbow or shoulder. A sharp parang wielded correctly will make a cut several inches deep into most wood. Next make a second cut slightly above the first and then twist the blade whilst it is still in the trunk to remove the chunk of wood between the two cuts. Now move around to the other side of the trunk and do the same again. If you want the tree to fall towards the first side, remove a chunk on the other side higher up, or if you want it to fall away from the first side, remove one lower down. Repeat this process a few times until the tree is felled, helping it with a push if needed. Make sure no one is standing underneath when the tree falls or you will get a lesson in making enemies. Sharpen the blade on a whetstone.