Some of us may not even know that there are basically two types of wooden parang sheaths – the one piece sheath and the two piece sheaths. What this means is just how the sheath is made , for one piece sheaths , the slot for the parang is dug out from a block of wood, using special tools. As for the two piece sheaths, the slot for the parang is dug out on two halves and later glued or tied together.
Obviously, the dug out sheath is more complicated , difficult and time consuming to make , compared to the two piece sheath. The top two pictures shows two parang sheaths that use the one piece sheath, while the lower picture shows the joints or the two halves of a 2-piece sheath.
The two one piece sheaths above are made in Kelantan, and I am not sure if it is only available in that state. I have yet to find a one piece sheath made in other states in Malaysia.
Another tell tale sign that a sheath is one piece , is the extra wedge of wood at the end of the sheath . You can see this from the picture above. Note how the two sheaths on the left have a small wedge of wood at the bottom of the sheath ( one piece ) . The two sheaths on the right are 2-piece sheaths. some two piece sheaths can be opened and cleaned.
Here in the picture above you can see some of the tools used to make the one piece sheath. First a hole needs to be drilled through the sheath, then a special saw like to ones above are inserted and used to saw out the slot for the parang. These special saws are not available for purchase, but are usually hand made by the parang craftsmen themselves.