The last parang maker

Uncle Chan, or Api, has worked at his traditional parang workshop in Kuala Selangor since his youth, inheriting the trade from his late father.

Over the years, he has enjoyed a throng of multiracial customers and admirers mostly made up of farmers, weapon collectors and enthusiasts. According to Uncle Chan, a large parang, from the furnace to the sharpening of the blade, takes about three to four hours to complete. A good, large blade will cost about RM50-RM60.

At 76 years old, Uncle Chan is part of a shrinking pool of traditional craftsmen who are slowly going extinct in the 21st century. None of his children will continue the trade when he retires.

Azri Zainul is a true Penangite with a passion for street and documentary photography.

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