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Old 18th January 2020, 12:10 AM   #1
Green
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Default Mandau from Hornbill and Dragon exhibition

This mandau was auctioned on 12 January. It was described as a 19th century mandau exhibited in "Hornbill and Dragon" exhibition in 1991 in a museum in USA. I can not recall the detail as the full description is now not available after the auction from the auction site. I do not have Bernard Sellato's Hornbill and Dragon book , so can anyone that has this book inform if this exhibition is related to the book and is this mandau included in the book?

Also, any information or comments with regards to type, tribe and form of decoration on the blade etc is much appreciated .

Thanks

Nik/Green
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Old 18th January 2020, 06:31 AM   #2
Bob A
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This mandau is not illustrated in Hornbill and Dragon. That book has only a few pages of mandau illustrations, being more of an overview of the decorative artifacts of Borneo.

I also examined van Zonneveld's Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago without success.

You might wish to add a photograph of the other side of the weapon's sheath, which is the side facing away from the bearer's body, and usually rather more decorative.

There are other posters here whose knowledge and access to information is considerably more extensive than mine.
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Old 18th January 2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob A. Here is the pic of the other side of scabbard. Looks very plain.
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Old 18th January 2020, 08:33 PM   #4
kai
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Hello Nik,

Congrats, looks like an old and good hilt! Style is Modang which includes the coastal trading port Kutai. I believe the hair is a very recent "restoration" attempt (also evidenced by the light thread attaching it): genuine decor at this part should be really short hair; wait for the Borneo experts to support my opinion though. Good news is that it could easily be cut to the correct length and adding a touch of dye to the thread will make the restore appear more natural, too.

Engraved blades seem to be uncommon in this region - we'll need specialist help here. However, trading of blades is well known among Dayak groups.

The scabbard seems a bit rough - I posit that the wooden part is a later replacement as may be the side knife. The back pocket/decor shows age/wear and the correct style; also the belt of braided rattan is correct and likely genuinely old.

It's extremely rare to find a perfectly preserved mandau - all in all this seems like a pretty good catch.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th January 2020, 12:24 AM   #5
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I agree with you Kai. So far, what I have seen of this type of hilt, the hair is usually short.
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Old 19th January 2020, 01:32 AM   #6
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Many thanks Kai and Battara for your comments and suggestion about the hair.
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