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Old 11th September 2011, 11:06 AM   #1
VVV
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Default Mandau with some unusual motifs

It's been a bit slow with the Borneo weapons so here is a mandau with a couple of unusual motifs to discuss for those who still are at the forum.

Michael
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Old 11th September 2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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BEAUTIFUL!
Love the blade. I could certainly find room for it in my collection

The little 'adornment' on the blades edge reminds me of those on the spine of Wedung.
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Old 11th September 2011, 06:39 PM   #3
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Lovely mandau Michael!

I would say the scabbard and blade are from the Baram river area Sarawak.
The handle is a very nicely carved Iban handle with great expression!

Very nice piece!

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Maurice
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Old 12th September 2011, 12:03 AM   #4
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interesting spine decoration !
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Old 12th September 2011, 05:30 AM   #5
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Thanks,

What I find unusual, except the richness in the spine decoration, is the
motif on the back of the hilt and the circles on the top of the scabbard.
Has anyone else resembling motifs as a reference?
I agree with Maurice on Baram as the probable origin btw based on the blade.

Michael
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Old 12th September 2011, 08:19 AM   #6
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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)).
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Old 12th September 2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Has anyone else resembling motifs as a reference?

No, I can't recall that I've seen these kind of decorations before.
I've searched on my computer, but wasn't able to find likewise shapes.
Note: These are more beautifull carved as simple circles. I really like the artistic way the circles on top of the scabbard are "woven" into eachother.
This is why I like dayak art so much. All pieces have similarities, but all are very unique compared with the other one.

Chinese were also settled in other areas as Sarawak, just as Malay people, who settled along the rivers. Ofcourse more of them you'll find at coastal areas, but also in the heart of Borneo they were settled (the Malay mostly to hide when they didn't obey the law and they were searching for them, and the chinese to trade fabrics and other trinkets with mostly the wandering dayak tribes).

I attached an image of a mandau scabbard I have from Central Borneo, with brass chinese plates used as decoration beneath the ratan knots. (I know, a whole different area, but just to show that the chinese influence were found all over Borneo..)
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