View Single Post
Old 11th January 2021, 10:17 AM   #19
Mickey the Finn
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 74
Default To: kai

Hello kai.
I did view the closeups. To be honest, my first thought was, "It's hair from a pig". Much of the hair seen in the photos looks too long to be from a pig, although it's possible I'm mistaken. The thought even crossed my mind that it might be horsehair (whether from mane, tail, or body proper I couldn't say without examining this pakayun up close and in person). In light of the fact that the pakayun was likely crafted somewhere within the "dunia/ alam Melayu", I second-guessed myself, because the pig is haram. I arrived at my conclusion by a perhaps overly simplistic process of elimination.
1) Irrespective of which side of the arbitrary border the pakayun was crafted on, both countries (Indonesia and Malaysia) are predominantly Moslem nations, and pigs are probably not too commonly kept for any purpose. The goat, on the other hand, is a halal animal, and a common food source for Moslems. Not all of the hair on a goat is fine and soft.
2) Nowadays, motorcycles/ mopeds/ "dirtbikes" have largely supplanted the horse as a means of transportation, and I don't believe horses have ever been kept as a source of meat or milk in the Malay world. Where I live, horses are kept by two kinds of people: 1) those who use horses as working animals (mostly in association with cattle farming, or as pack animals), and 2) the "leisure class", who ride only for pleasure.
I think it's about as unlikely that the hair is from a horse as from a pig.
I am aware of at least one individual living in Malaysia, who is of Dayak ancestry, and who is at least nominally a Protestant Christian. This individual has, in the past, crafted more than one mandau. None of the examples of his work which I have seen have been decorated with hair of any kind. I don't know much about the current religious affiliation of people of Dayak ancestry. It's possible that some Dayaks may have decorated their weapons with pig hair in the past, and it's possible some may currently do so.
To summarize: I still say it's goat hair on this pakayun scabbard, and on my mandau scabbard. Pics of my mandau scabbard will likely not be posted any time soon, however, because I'm lazy.
Human hair on any mandau shouldn't be blonde; goat hair is commonly utilized for short decor, especially on some scabbard types.
I'll grant that the hair of most people likely to have been cut off to decorate a klebit bok, a mandau, or other Dayak weapon is probably not going to be blonde, but most likely very dark. Having given the matter some thought, for various reasons, I'm not going to say anything more about the matter, with the exception of my closing sentence:
Just for the record, I'll state: I would never alter any antique by adding hair of any kind to it.
Mickey the Finn
Mickey the Finn is offline   Reply With Quote