A Baluse shield, pre-1942.
Place of originNias, Indonesia
Service history
Used byNias people
Width27 cm (11 in)
Height120 cm (47 in)

Baluse or Baloese is a traditional shield of the Nias people originating from Nias, an island off the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Baluse in the Northern Nias is somewhat smaller than those of the rest of the island.[1]


The shield is made of wood shaped like banana leaves and is held on the left hand which serves to deflect enemy attacks.[2] The surface of the shield is carved with rib-cage patterns from top to bottom. There is a round knob at the centre of the shield, and the shield's handle is directly behind this knob.[3]


The Baluse is used with the Balato (sword) or the Burusa (spear)[4] during traditional war dances such as Faluaya (or Fataele)[2] and Maena Baluse.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Peter Suzuki (1959). The Religious System and Culture of Nias, Indonesia. Uitgeverij Excelsior. ASIN B0045VE6BY.
  2. ^ a b "Tari Fataele: Tari Perang Khas Nias Selatan". Indonesia Tourism. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  3. ^ Albert G Van Zonneveld (2002). Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago. Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land. ISBN 90-5450-004-2.
  4. ^ Arts of Asia (1990). Arts of Asia Volume 20 Number 2, March - April 1990. Arts of Asia. ASIN B002AR5BNM.
  5. ^ Lucas Partanda Koestoro, Ketut Wiradnyana (2007). Megalithic Traditions In Nias Island. Medan Archeological Office. ISBN 978-979-98772-1-5.

Further reading