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Old 25th July 2013, 04:56 PM   #1
Maurice
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Default Dayak shields

Hi,

I thought it would be nice to start a thread about dayak shields!
It would be interesting to see what others have in their collection.

Hopefully there are collectors amongst us who have some dayak shields and would like to share images of them?

Maurice

Last edited by Maurice : 25th July 2013 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 25th July 2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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dayakshield:
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Old 25th July 2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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Dayakshield:
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Old 25th July 2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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Question Strange one

This is a strange one in my collection.
Extremely simple.
Roughly made.
No rattan bindings.
But it certainly has age!
I am puzzled. Has anyone seen an specimen like this before?
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Old 25th July 2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
This is a strange one in my collection.
Extremely simple.
Roughly made.
No rattan bindings.
But it certainly has age!
I am puzzled. Has anyone seen an specimen like this before?


Hello Albert,

What is the size of the shield? If it is smaller as usual it could be a shield of a child (you can find a picture of such in
In Centraal Borneo II from Anton Willem Nieuwenhuis.)


If it's a normal sized shield, we have several possibilities I guess:
A: It could be used in "mock battles";
B: Or it was used as a dancing shield;
C: Plain ones were also put sometimes in dayak graves;
D: It was made for a statue in the village which had the purpose to drive out and keep away bad spirits.


In my opinion it wasn't used for warfare.

Maurice
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Old 26th July 2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
This is a strange one in my collection.
Extremely simple.
Roughly made.
No rattan bindings.
But it certainly has age!
I am puzzled. Has anyone seen an specimen like this before?


Hello Albert,

Do you have pictures of the back ?

Best regards,
Willem

Ps. nice thread Maurice.
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Old 26th July 2013, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Hello Albert,

Do you have pictures of the back ?

Best regards,
Willem

Ps. nice thread Maurice.


Yes an image of the back (and handle) would indeed be a surplus.

Thanks Willem, post some of yours please to make the thread more "alive"...


Maurice
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Old 26th July 2013, 12:32 PM   #8
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Default Three more

Here are my three.

Good thread Maurice.

All the best
Roy
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Old 26th July 2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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Good idea for a thread Maurice, very sadly I have nothing to add. They are extreme expensive but maybe one day.....
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Old 26th July 2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
Here are my three.


Roy those three are a very good selection of different types of shields.

The klebit bok (hairy shield) is one of the book and I think it is a Kayan shield from the kayans living in the Sarawak area.

The second one is plain, and in very good condition. I remember the thread before and I still think it's a good old one!

The third one is also a very nice one. Often these kind of shields are (partly) painted with red dye, and were in use by the seadayaks.

Thanks for sharing these wonderfull shields Roy!

Best wishes,
Maurice
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Old 26th July 2013, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Good idea for a thread Maurice, very sadly I have nothing to add. They are extreme expensive but maybe one day.....


Don't be , as I need to add so much to my private collection, it will probably impossible to do so in my life....

I'm sure you'll find one sooner or later!
And you have very nice Moluccan shields....

Maurice
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Old 26th July 2013, 07:58 PM   #12
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This shield was once in my collection, and is belongs to a friend now.
The photos are bad unfortunately, but it does show the painted motifs clearly enough.

The handle of this one had an enormous glossy patina of use. Probably this one was used as a dancing shield...?
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Old 26th July 2013, 09:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
Here are my three.

Good thread Maurice.

All the best
Roy


Wow,
I love those figures with lots of eyes on te back of the hair shield.
I must say that the decorations on the back are often much more interesting than the decoration on the front.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hello Albert,

What is the size of the shield? If it is smaller as usual it could be a shield of a child (you can find a picture of such in
In Centraal Borneo II from Anton Willem Nieuwenhuis.)


If it's a normal sized shield, we have several possibilities I guess:
A: It could be used in "mock battles";
B: Or it was used as a dancing shield;
C: Plain ones were also put sometimes in dayak graves;
D: It was made for a statue in the village which had the purpose to drive out and keep away bad spirits.


In my opinion it wasn't used for warfare.

Maurice


The size is: length 118 cm, width 39 cm.
I also added photo's of the backside and the handle.
I think, it is not type B. The dancing shields ususally are more elaborate. I guess, type C or D are the most probable.
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Old 5th August 2013, 12:43 AM   #15
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Default Dayak shields

2 shields in my collection
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Old 5th August 2013, 06:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
The size is: length 118 cm, width 39 cm.
I also added photo's of the backside and the handle.
I think, it is not type B. The dancing shields ususally are more elaborate. I guess, type C or D are the most probable.


Thank you for the images of the backside and the handle Albert!
I think you're right about "type B".

Regards,
Maurice
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Old 5th August 2013, 06:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billevans
2 shields in my collection


Both beautifull examples, thank you for sharing!
Especially the backside of the first one I like very much.
It looks like the handle on the second one has great patina on the handle!

Regards,
Maurice
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Old 5th August 2013, 06:36 PM   #18
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This is one of my favorite photo's with an excellent shield on it!

The photo was taken during the expedition of van Walcheren in 1904, where we see some Kenyah dayaks around Samarinda.

Also added a photo of the East Borneo expedition with their Kenyah guides, including 4 elder headmen, the indigenous doctor Tehupeiory, and E.W.F. van Walchren himself.
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Old 6th August 2013, 09:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
This is one of my favorite photo's with an excellent shield on it!

The photo was taken during the expedition of van Walcheren in 1904, where we see some Kenyah dayaks around Samarinda.

Also added a photo of the East Borneo expedition with their Kenyah guides, including 4 elder headmen, the indigenous doctor Tehupeiory, and E.W.F. van Walchren himself.


Wonderfull pictures Maurice. (my kingdom for a time-travel machine )
What I already learned in the past, is that shields are not easy (if not impossible) to pinpoint on a certain tribe.
This picture is a perfect example.
A plain shield, a decorated shield in a normal size, and the broad / oversized shield. All in one picture.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 7th August 2013, 05:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Wonderfull pictures Maurice. (my kingdom for a time-travel machine )
What I already learned in the past, is that shields are not easy (if not impossible) to pinpoint on a certain tribe.
This picture is a perfect example.
A plain shield, a decorated shield in a normal size, and the broad / oversized shield. All in one picture.

Best regards,
Willem


Thank you Willem. Great you appreciate the old photographs just as much as I do!
Indeed it's very difficult to pinpoint certain tribes to a specific kind of shield.
But sometimes we can find little things in texts, on photographs, in old museum collections which can be just enough to point out a certain area (and sometimes even the specific tribe).
That's why I can attribute Roy's third depicted shield to be most likely from the sea dayaks, and the klebit bok might be of a Kayan tribe living in Sarawak.

Kind regards,
Maurice
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Old 2nd September 2013, 09:29 PM   #21
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My shields are presently stored on the attic.

However, I came across this nice picture taken in Sarawak.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 10:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
My shields are presently stored on the attic.

However, I came across this nice picture taken in Sarawak.


Hi Willem,

Lol! They have to adjust the text below the image a little bit:
the second man on the left is wearing a large sleeveless jacket, or collar, of skin to protect his shoulders from wounds, AND ALSO HE'S WEARING HIS SHIELD UPSIDE DOWN!!!

Kind regards,
Maurice
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Old 3rd September 2013, 05:42 AM   #23
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Yes, I noticed it but assumed it is probably by accident. They look rather genuine Dayak to me.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 06:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Yes, I noticed it but assumed it is probably by accident. They look rather genuine Dayak to me.


Ofcourse these are genuine dayak.

Maurice

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Old 3rd September 2013, 04:34 PM   #25
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I HAVE SOME PICTURES IN MY PHOTO FILES OF DAYAK SHIELDS HERE ARE A FEW. I LIKE DAYAK SHIELDS A LOT BUT HAVE LITTLE KNOWLEGE OF THEM SO SOME MAY BE NEW AND SOME OLD AND I REMAIN CLUELESS AS TO WHICH TRIBES THEY BELONG. SO PICTURES FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT AND COMMENT.
EXAMPLE 1.THE FIRST TWO PICTURES ARE OF A TYPE THAT HAS DEEP RELIEF CARVING AND IS PAINTED WITH SOME SORT OF HOMEMADE PAINT/STAIN.
# 2. THE NEXT 4 PICTURES ARE OF A SHIELD WITH HAIR AND LIGHT CARVING IT IS 53 X 16 INCHES
#3. A DEEP RELIEF CARVED EXAMPLE WITH MODERN PAINT,49IN. X 11.5IN.
#4. A OLDER SHIELD LIGHTLY CARVED AND STAINED ONLY
#5. TWO PICTURES OF A DEEPLY CARVED TYPE WITH MODERN PAINT. 46.5 IN.LONG
#6. SHIELD FRONT AND BACK ,WITH HAIR AND STAIN.
#7. OLD HAIRY FORM SHIELD. WITH STAIN AND LIGHT CARVING.

MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE OLDER SHIELDS HAD THE DESIGNS ESPECIALLY THE EYES CUT IN ALONG THE LINES ONLY ( I REFER TO THIS AS LIGHT CARVEING). THE SHIELDS WERE COLORED BY NATURAL STAINS AND PIGMENTS AND PERHAPS WOOD BURNED.
MANY OF THE MODERN REPLICAS HAVE THE DESIGNS DRAWN ON AND COLORED BUT NOT CUT INTO THE WOOD.
I DON'T KNOW WHEN THE FORMS THAT ARE CARVED COMPLETY IN HEAVY RELIEF AND PAINTED CAME INTO PRODUCTION BUT THE GOOD EXAMPLES ARE TRULY WORKS OF ART AND ALTHOUGH NOT GOOD OLD HEADHUNTING EXAMPLES NOT TO BE SCOFFED AT AS ETHINOGRAPHIC ART. AT ANY RATE I LIKE THEM BUT THEN I AM NOT A PURIST AND AM A NOVICE AT BEST.
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Old 4th September 2013, 12:25 PM   #26
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A FEW MORE DAYAK SHIELDS
1. DAYAK DANCING WITH SHIELD AND SWORD
2. SHIELD WITH LIGHT CARVING AND ORANGE PIGMENT PAINT
3,4 & 5. 19TH. CENTURY SHIELD ,LIGHT CARVING, 50 X 15 INCHES
6 & 7. FRONT AND BACK OF HAIRY SHIELD
8. DEEP CARVED EXAMPLE, PAINTED
9. OLD SHIELD NO OTHER INFORMATION.
10. ANOTHER OLD SHIELD NO OTHER INFORMATION
11 & 12. FRONT AND BACK OF SHIELD EST.1920'S TO 1930'S, 62 INCHES
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Old 4th September 2013, 11:28 PM   #27
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Barry some questions:


1. Are those with hair ceremonial or for warfare?

2. Do those used for warfare use painted faces for intimidation or are warfare examples plain?

3. If those with carving and paint are older, then what about those with only black and red paint, and bare wood?
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Old 5th September 2013, 12:32 AM   #28
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GOOD QUESTIONS I AM SEVERLY LIMITED ON GOOD REFRENCES AND KNOWLEGE ON THESE BUT UNTILL THOSE WITH THE APPROPRIATE KNOWLEGE CAN COME STRAIGHTEN ME OUT I WILL GIVE IT A TRY TO ANSWER AS BEST AS I CAN.
1. THE ONES WITH HAIR WERE BOTH CEREMONIAL AND FOR WARFARE AND DENOTED THE TRIBE AND THE STATUS OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN THE TRIBE. NOT EVERYONE WOULD HAVE SUCH NICE ONES AS FAMILY, PRESTIEGE, RANK, WEALTH AND FIGHTING ABILITY WERE ALL REQUIRED TO HAVE SUCH A SHIELD.
2. THE DESIGNS AND FACES WERE FOR PROTECTION OF THE LIVING AS WELL AS ON THE SPIRITUAL PLANES. THEY NO DOUBT GATHERED THE SPIRITS OF THE ANCESTORS FOR GOOD LUCK AND PROTECTION FROM EVIL SPIRITS AND THE ENEMY IN BATTLE. THEY COULD INTIMIDATE A LESSER WARRIOR AS THEY INDICATED THE IMPORTANCE AND FIGHTING ABILITY OF THE WARRIOR AND ALSO INDICATED HE WOULD HAVE FRIENDS SO GETTING TO HIM WOULD BE MUCH MORE DANGEROUS BUT ALSO THE GLORY MUCH MORE IF SUCESSFUL.
THE PLAIN SHIELDS WERE LIKELY FOR WARRIORS WITH LOW RANK AND LITTLE WEALTH AND PERHAPS SUPPLYED BY THOSE WITH WEALTH IN THE TRIBE. IF THEY BECAME GREAT WARRIORS THE DECORATIONS AND HAIR TUFTS WOULD FOLLOW BUT I SUSPECT CERTIAN DECORATIONS WERE RESERVED FOR FAMILYS WITH LONG STANDING PRESTIEGE IN THE TRIBE CHIEFS AND SUCH.
3. THERE ARE OLD AUTHENTIC ONES AND NEW REPLICA ONES THAT ARE PLAIN AND THEY STILL MAKE THEM MOSTLY FOR LOCAL USE BUT SOMETIMES THE TOURISTS BUY ONE. MOSTLY THE TOURISTS BUY THE MORE FANCY TOURIST WALL HANGERS.
THE REALLY FANCY ONES CARVED IN DEEP RELIEF AND PAINTED ARE OFTEN USED IN SOME CELEBRATION OR EVENT AND SHOW OFF THE CARVERS SKILL AND HAVE AUTHENTIC DAYAK DESIGNS OF POWER. I HAVE SUCH A SHIELD I WILL TRY AND TAKE A PICTURE AND POST IT SOON.
THATS THE BEST I CAN DO AND IF I HAVE MADE INCORRECT STATEMENTS PLEASE CORRECT ME WHERE NEEDED. THANKS


Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Barry some questions:


1. Are those with hair ceremonial or for warfare?

2. Do those used for warfare use painted faces for intimidation or are warfare examples plain?

3. If those with carving and paint are older, then what about those with only black and red paint, and bare wood?
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Old 5th September 2013, 08:05 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara

3. If those with carving and paint are older, then what about those with only black and red paint, and bare wood?


Jose, as far as I noticed, the ones with carving are far from being older. They are mostly newer and made for tourists who love to have a nice carved shield.

Painted with designs, black and red paint or bare wood, doesn't tell us something about the age. It isn't so that this one is older as that one. They were used simultaneously next to eachother. There are very old plain ones and also very old painted ones. So this is no age indicator.

I can only say compare the old ones with provenance from old museumcollections with the ones you find mostly on ebay. Than you will see the difference.
The ones Vandoo showed us are both... Newer and recent made ones, but also old ones.
And I noticed my shield I posted in the beginning is also depicted in Vandoo's post...

Maurice
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Old 5th September 2013, 08:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Barry some questions:

1. Are those with hair ceremonial or for warfare?

2. Do those used for warfare use painted faces for intimidation or are warfare examples plain?

3. If those with carving and paint are older, then what about those with only black and red paint, and bare wood?


Barry's answers are never to far off, as he seems to know something about almost everything.
Nevertheless I would like to give my short opinion on these questions.

1 + 2 : As we can see in old pictures there can be a variety of plain, decorated and hair shields (klebit bok) within one tribe. My guess is that need be, all of them will have been used for warfare.
Painted faces on the front will frighten the enemy but probably also bad spirits. As for example baby carriers are also decorated with faces to protect the child.

I have read that the faces on the front are to frighten the enemy, and the decorations on the back are to protect the warrior.

Shields without rattan enforcement would not be much use in a fight.
See also Maurice comments before.

3. : I guess here is a small misunderstanding and Maurice answered that one.

Best regards,
Willem
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