Rare and fine Antique Borneo "Young Warriors" Headhunter's c/w sword and scabbard (Dayak Mandau) dating from 1870s.
Rare example of an antique Borneo Young Warrior headhunter's sword and scabbard (Dayak Mandau) dating from the 1870s, brought back to the UK by a British Army colonel stationed in Borneo in the 1870s and kept by his family.
It is complete with ornate bone-handled hilt, highly curved sword with tribal mark, decorative scabbard (still showing some blood red colouring), whittling stick (Pisau) and sheath, and "travelling" attachment string with root ornament. Probably Kalimantan.
The mandau is slightly shorter than usual, 47cm* - and the blade is of a more curved design than usual with a rare stamped makers or tribal mark - a more labour intensive and higher quality process. This suggests the mandau was made for a young warrior, almost certainly the son of a chief.
Nb. *the more usually seen adult warrior mandau swords are often 55-75 cm in length and more straight in form.
Full Dimensions: mandau and hilt. 47cm (18.5") Scabbard 39cm (15+") Whittling Stick 37cm (14.5") Overall including handle 56cm (22 ") Weight overall 0.5Kg.
The Mandau is one of the most romanticised, albeit macabre, weapons of Borneo. The way of life of the Dayak aborigines, maintaining their ancient customs, habits and religious beliefs, has always involved the taking of heads.