Join Date: Apr 2011
Hi, to my experience -to answer Michaels question- these 'interlocking circles' atop the scabbard is derived from a Chinese motive which depicts coins (to attract coins; good busines). Also the bit more odd looking interlocking points (which look like a shipsrotorblades) seem to look more derived from Chinese motives than usual.
So, this chinese influence would indeed blend in with the Sarawak/Iban origin ohers have already 'established' for this mandau. And the many inset copper points in the blade near the handle points in the direction of (highland) Murut. So, simply following these leads one comes out at the Baramriver area indeed!
(The Chinese are of bigger influence in Sarawak especially in making silver armlets and other tradeobjects (in exchange for birdsnests, hornbillivory and other junglematerials)).