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Old 12th May 2007, 06:59 AM   #1
Mytribalworld
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Default My first mandau

As collector is quite normal that trough the years many items come and many items go. One one way or another I could not part with this and now after years I know why.Its the first mandau I ever bougth some 20 years ago.
Always liked the hilt and the bi-colored inlay however the handle wasn't spectacular but decorated with Orang Oetan hair instead of the more normal dyed goathair or on the older examples humanhair.
By reading the book of Elshout " De Kenja Dajaks uit het Apo-Kajan gebied " 1926 ( a treasure of high detailed information on headhunting and other dayak customs) I know why I indeed better keep it.

Elshout once got as present a mandau from a dayak chief, a real headhunting mandau decorated with Orang Oetanhair.The sword once belonged to a very brave headhunter who was well known.Elshout requested another dayak to make a headhunting dance with this sword but he didn't dare because he was afraid to get "parib" ( parib= sickness by spirits because of wearing to powerfull tusks,nails,hairs or anything whats more powerfull as his "beroewa"
( beroewa= the resistance that can be build up by bravery,headhunting)
The man had not hunted heads so his beroewa was not " loaded up"
(In these days its maybe comparable with Mario Bros who build up his credits by taking the difficult levels.)
On another page Elshout notes that mandaus with Orang Oetan hair are very rare.The beroewa of a Orang Oetan is of a higher grade than the human.

Sometimes a collector should read more like in this case where I discovered after 20 years the remarkable details of this piece.

happy collecting and reading!

Arjan.
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Old 12th May 2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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Arjan,

Thanks for sharing both the mandau and the story.
That is a nice first mandau and good that you didn't sell it.
I can't recall that I have seen a mandau with orangutan hair before.

Michael
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Old 13th May 2007, 05:42 AM   #3
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Hi Arjan the oldest mandau that I have seen did have goathair not the human
hair on it.


Ben
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Old 13th May 2007, 07:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajak
Hi Arjan the oldest mandau that I have seen did have goathair not the human
hair on it.


Ben

Hi Ben,

Are you sure your'e able to see the difference between goats and humans? I agree that sometimes there's not much difference between them.Certainly when she's beginning to talk late in the evening when you gladly wanna sleep.
But their hair is softer....( be sure to take the upper bundle....)

Arjan.
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Old 13th May 2007, 07:49 PM   #5
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I have proof off it

Ben
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Old 13th May 2007, 09:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajak
Hi Arjan the oldest mandau that I have seen did have goathair not the human
hair on it.


Ben


Ben,

Maybe the former owner decapitated "an old goat"?

Michael
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Old 15th May 2007, 07:58 AM   #7
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I have a mandau with horsehair....
The picture does not show it, but the strings are approx 25 cms long.

Do they have horses in Borneo
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Old 15th May 2007, 08:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Do they have horses in Borneo


Yes, but probably not in the rainforests.
In Sabah f.i. there is a horse market in Kota Belud (see picture).
Also horses were quite common in the coastal cities and villages.

Michael
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Old 15th May 2007, 12:21 PM   #9
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Default forumite lets list some more 'first mandau's...

Hello Michael,

Nice picture. But is it likely that horsehair was used localy for decoration ?
The mandau with the horsehair came from London, so I always assumed that the hair was an addition made there. maybe from an old parade helmet ?

Ps. as for the 'first mandau' item.
Maybe fun to list your first mandau too ?
It must have been aproxx 1995/1996 (I am still a youngster you see )
My first mandau was standing in the corner of an archeological antique dealers shopwindow for several months on a main road in Rotterdam.
The bottom of the scabbard was standing in sand that was in the shopwindow for decoration. (archeological style ).

It took me several months too decide if I was going to spend the Usd 220, that was the price the seller asked in those days.

Dusting of the sand and a little antiquewax did the trick
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Old 15th May 2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Hello Michael,

Nice picture. But is it likely that horsehair was used localy for decoration ?
...


Hello Willem,

Sorry but I don't know. Maybe Ben or Arjan can answer your question?

It would be nice to see the rest of your mandau?

My first mandau was much later.
I never found any I liked on my Borneo trips and got this at a local auction.
Human hair, not goat.

Michael
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Old 15th May 2007, 03:18 PM   #11
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Nice start Michael,

But than again, you obviously already knew what you where looking for.
With my first mandau I never heard of Dayaks.
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Old 16th May 2007, 10:57 AM   #12
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Willem,

On my mandau you are correct that I had seen several, as well as visited both East and North Borneo, before I bought one.
Also I didn't have the money available at the time I was travelling for buying anything else than cheap souvenirs.

I am curious to see the rest of your first mandau?
And some of the other forumites first mandaus too?

Michael
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Old 18th May 2007, 11:23 AM   #13
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Hello Michael,

Here some more picture of my first mandau.
The handle is a bit too clean, but might have been cleaned maybe.
The blade is straight / no decorations, I am nut sure that his combination of handel blade and scabbard is all original.
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Old 18th May 2007, 07:19 PM   #14
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Default my first (real) mandau!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV

I am curious to see the rest of your first mandau?
And some of the other forumites first mandaus too?

Michael


Arjan, Your story about the 'uploading' was very interesting, and I like your first mandau. (You know my fist one).
Willem, your first mandau looks very nice.
And Michael here's my first (real) mandau.
My first mandau was a real disaster. It was a nice tourist one.
I sold it already to someone who didn't mind it was just 20 years old. I have no pictures anymore to show here, and if I had them I wouldn't place them anyway.
So I will show you as I consider my first (real) old mandau.
It is an old sea dayak mandau with tufts of human hair.
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