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Old 30th September 2020, 05:16 AM   #1
JeffS
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Default Origin of this mandau?

Hello. I know mandau are tricky but hoping to narrow this one down to more than "Dayak". I've seen a few photos with similar style carving but no attribution. The blade is a nice piece of work, simple for a mandau but very well executed. The silver on the hilt seems to be a bit unusual. Battara got a good look at this one when he rescued the scabbard from complete disintegration. The plug is synthetic, likely done as a repair by a collector or dealer unless anyone has heard of Dayak using synthetic materials. Photos from Oriental Arms.
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Old 30th September 2020, 09:06 AM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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Jeff, my knowledge of Dyak weaponry is slight, however using "Hornbill & Dragon" as a reference, I'd be inclined to give this mandau as Kayan.

As for Dyaks using synthetics, the old Dyak ways have been gone for a long time, even before the clearing and the palm oil plantations sent them out of the jungles, they were using modern materials to do repairs.
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Old 30th September 2020, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Jeff, my knowledge of Dyak weaponry is slight, however using "Hornbill & Dragon" as a reference, I'd be inclined to give this mandau as Kayan.

As for Dyaks using synthetics, the old Dyak ways have been gone for a long time, even before the clearing and the palm oil plantations sent them out of the jungles, they were using modern materials to do repairs.
Thank you Alan! I'm looking forward to a time I am more settled down and can start hunting for books (and have a workshop). I am pretty much limited to online information sources. Not much on ethnographic weapons available as ebooks, though I did get Stone as an ebook.
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Old 30th September 2020, 09:42 PM   #4
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Actually Jeff, 50 or 60 years ago, Stone was about all we had.
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Old 1st October 2020, 10:14 AM   #5
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You can find info in the little volume "Indonesisce Schwertgriffe" (some 40 pages, mostly dedicated to mandau hilts). It s an article from "Annalen des K.K. Naturhistorischen Hofmuseum", written in Wien in 1899 by Dr Franz Steindacher.
I have found it at Aquila Natural History Books through Abebooks.
email: aquilabooks@planet.nl. Unfortunately (for me) it is written in German. But I could enjoy the good drawings ....
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Old 1st October 2020, 08:36 PM   #6
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Hello Giovanni,

I reckon you mean the paper by Wilhelm Hein (rather than Steindachner)?

That's an important source, indeed. However, there is no similar hilt included in this study.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st October 2020, 08:53 PM   #7
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Hello Jeff,

I'd love to see pics of any similarly carved hilts to foster the discussion here!

IMHO the hilt seems to be influenced by Malay (floral) carving styles which could also explain the unusual silver work. Maybe this piece originates from a coastal trading port, possibly somewhere in eastern Borneo? This may also be supported by the blade type. Some more pics for more details would be great!

Jose, thanks for rescueing the scabbard - does the blade fit well and is the belt traditionally attached?

Is the plug utilizing horse hair?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st October 2020, 09:51 PM   #8
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Hello Jeff,

More pictures would be nice. Do you own the mandau ?

Koetei / Kutai region comes in mind, based on blade and hilt combi, floral motives.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 1st October 2020, 10:18 PM   #9
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Thank you Kai and Willem for taking an interest! Yes this is my first mandau and one that I actually have with me (I've been displaced from home for the last 6 months). Happy to take more pictures of features of interest.

I've added a couple of what I consider similar carvings. To me these look like a hunched 6 limbed figure embracing the void of the bone cavity.
A. Is my mandau purchased from Artzi
B. Is from the 2006 post by Dajak
2006 post by Dajak
C. This is a random download from Google Image Search
I've also added a better shot of the belt and a zoom of the hair plug
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Old 2nd October 2020, 12:21 AM   #10
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source
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Old 2nd October 2020, 08:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
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Nice book, Hornbill and Dragon.
There is one in the swap section
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