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Old 13th February 2010, 11:38 PM   #13
A. G. Maisey
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For those with an interest in the relationship between weaponry and weaving, I would suggest a reading of "Iban Art -- sexual selection and severed heads" --- Michael Heppell, KIT publishers, Amsterdam, ISBN -10: 9054500050

In Iban culture hierarchical position, and the suitability for marriage was largely determined by weaving in the case of women, and the taking of heads in the case of men. Men carved the hilts of their own weapons, and this was a way of demonstrating that they were not one dimensional warriors, but also possessed a finer side.

There is far too much involved in these Iban cultural practices to be covered here, and their complexity would make any attempted abbreviation too simplistic. However, there is a distinct sexual counterbalancing between the male role as warrior and association with weaponry, and the female role as society's cohesive force.

Since Iban culture can probably be regarded as containing base elements of most, if not all, tribal cultures within the maritime cultures of South East Asia, an understanding of these base elements could be of use to those with interests specific to these cultures.
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