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asomotif 17th January 2007 11:17 AM

Mandau hilt without decorations
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I recently bought this mandau with a very plain hilt.
The hilt looks original, the blade has copper inlays, the scabbard has some decorations and a well made carrying band.
On top of the hilt is a small hole and some resin where a tuft of hair was placed?

Are there other collectos with similar plain undecorated hilts ?
Any idea on age / origin amongst us ?

Thanks for any comments.

VVV 17th January 2007 12:34 PM

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The answer is that it's either quite old or quite recent, probably the first alternative in your case. :D

You should try to find the article by Tromp on Mandaus from Koetei where the old hilts like yours are described. Several of the old ones have very minimalistic hilts like yours.
In later days you also see undecorated hilts but then it's probably because of that the Dayaks has converted to Christianity and the local priest doesn't want them to have hilts with design in the style of the old beliefs.

From your pictures it's hard to see the patina on the hilt.
Also it would be interesting to see the blade and sheath?

Ben has a very good Jimpul with a minimalistic hilt like yours.
And I have this Mandau (originally Ben's) that was collected by Nieuwenhuis in the late 19th C.


asomotif 17th January 2007 01:49 PM

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Dear Michael,

Thanks for the detailled info.
The Nieuwenhuis mandau is really great. how could Ben ever let this go :confused:

The pictures are very poor due to bad light and low value camera, but enclosed 2 pictures of the carving on the scabbard.
There is no patina on the mandau, but also no wear and tear on the the whole piece. early collected :rolleyes:

VVV 17th January 2007 02:13 PM

Originally Posted by asomotif
...The Nieuwenhuis mandau is really great. how could Ben ever let this go :confused: ...

Thanks Willem,

Actually he got a fantastic Pakayun in the trade and now and then I ask myself how I ever could let that go? :confused:
So it was a typical win-win...

It's a pity about the blurred pictures because I can't really see, like you write, any patina etc. which makes it very hard to comment it further.


Dajak 17th January 2007 05:23 PM

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Hi Michael and Willem if I look at the pakayun I know why I let the mandau go

Here I have an Jimpul very old one with an plain handle and very heavy looks like an latok handle

you can see traces off the brass wire

Scabbard same style as the Oldman Jimpul

Dajak 18th January 2007 02:02 AM

I just look in Blink s book there are mandau hilt s without decorations but different than your s one Willem .


asomotif 18th January 2007 03:21 PM

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Can you give me some info on Blinks book ?

For comparison I have placed this hilt next to another one I have.
Again bad pictures, but compare the boldness of the design (or lack of design) and also the decoration on the blade.

Still the question, arte there any other collectors that have non decorated mandau hilts in their collection ?

Best regards,

Dajak 18th January 2007 05:48 PM

Hi Willem this is the book


Let me know if you wanna have pics


Mytribalworld 19th January 2007 04:34 AM

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Hi Ben,

I don't think its a good idea to take the drawings in Blink's work as a reference,the drawings are not very fine (see how at the drawings of the kerisses for example).

the uncarved models have been seen by Tromp in Kutei.

Willem, the other one you have there (with that flower motif) is from the area of Negara or Amuntai.(south Borneo)

here some pics of mine example with almost uncarved handle.

The blade is very thick at the shoulder.


VVV 19th January 2007 05:38 AM

Originally Posted by asomotif
...Can you give me some info on Blinks book ?...

In the lower part of the first page in this thread you will find the picture of the Mandau in Blink's book that Ben is referring to.


Dajak 20th January 2007 05:48 AM

Hi Arjan I know a collection that have mandau handles same you can see
as In BLINK s book and they look the same so I think you have to take those pics serious .

This old man has them a long time and he did buy them from an old time collector they schould be at least for 80 years in the Netherlands .


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