Mandau, a typical weapon of the Dayak tribe

ClickBorneo.Info – Mandau is a traditional weapon typical of the Kalimantan Dayak tribe. Mandau is also one of the typical traditional weapons from various provinces on the island of Borneo.

At this time, Click Borneo will inform the details of the mandau weapon structure which is also a traditional weapon of pride for the Dayak Borneo people.

Mandau is a kind of machete with carved ornaments on the part of the blade that is distinctive and not sharp. The ornaments are typical of animal head carvings such as birds, horses etc. This cultural influence cannot be avoided from the cultural influences of Chinese people, which spread in several regions of the archipelago including in Kalimantan in the past. This is evidenced by Mandau’s own vocabulary which comes from the word “Man” which means one tribe in South China and “Tao” which means machete in Chinese.

While the functions of Mandau in the life of the Dayak tribe in Borneo in ancient times were used by the people in warfare and also headhunting (beheading of the enemy). But nowadays, because war and ‘ngayau’ are rare in Dayaks in Kalimantan, mandau is only used in traditional rituals and also as decorations and tools in dance.

The structure of Mandau is as follows:

1. Upstream (Mandau Handle)

Mandau upstream or handle must be made of deer horn centered around, or not have many cavities so that carvings can be done to the maximum, even better if the horns come from standalone horns, or white deer horns, or deer horns that die from old age or the term blumpang / pupul, there are also handles made of wood or wood roots that have the appropriate curve.

At the end of the handle is usually decorated with hair or goat / horse hairs. Only Mandau takes sacrifices that can be decorated with human hair. The use of a ponytail on the decoration of the mandau is a sign of the owner’s identity, because horses are not animals in Borneo so people who have high status can use it, because the Dayak Ngaju at the bottom of the handle is usually given coins, called capitals.

Carving the handle of each sub-tribe is of course different and there are philosophical meanings behind each engraving.

Mandau Hulu has two (2) important values.

First, as a handle or second weapon, the upstream form characterizes the mandau.
The basic shape of the upstream mandau usually resembles four-legged animals, birds etc. So it is fitting, if you look at the historical record and the values ​​contained in the mandau, especially the Dayaks continue to preserve and have a value of pride in the traditional weapons of the Dayak tribe.

2. Threshold

Threshold is the term for mandau made of ordinary iron. Often used as a souvenir. Lay people or people who are not used to seeing or holding a mandau will find it difficult to distinguish between a mandau and a threshold because when seen in plain view, they are almost the same. However, both are very different.

However, if we look at it in more detail, there will be a very striking difference, namely in Mandau, there are carvings or encrusted with gold, copper, or silver and the mandau is stronger and more flexible, because the Mandau is made of mountain stone containing iron and processed by an expert . While the threshold is only made of ordinary iron.

3. Mandau Blade

‘Eyes’ or eyes Mandau usually has several arches at the ends. The Mandau Bar also has different carvings from one area to another (between Kalimantan). Carving is the identity of the mandau of certain Dayak sub-tribes.

4. Kumpang (Mandau Gloves)

Kumpang is a mandau sarong. Kumpang made of wood, coated with deer antlers, can also be made of wood and usually decorated with carvings. In Kumpang Mandau, an invitation was given, which was a bond made of woven uai (rattan). In addition, in Kumpang, a bag of bark is tied with a knife containing penyerut and ivory wood which is believed to be able to reject wild animals. Mandau which is arranged in kumpang is usually tied to the waist with rattan braids.

As for the greatness of the mandau, we cannot deny it also from history in the past, the development of myths that are thick with mystical stories that developed and survived to the present among local communities.

Of all the traditional weapons in Indonesia, Mandau is arguably one of the most popular. The reason is none other because this weapon is so close to the Dayak tribe figure that we know has a prestige that is so flashy, even global. Actually not only because of the Dayak that made Mandau have a name. This one weapon itself does have a lot of uniqueness that is very interesting.

For ordinary people, Mandau may be just an ordinary sword, but of course this one weapon is more than that. From the physical, it seems that Mandau is a typical weapon with lethal ability. And if we explore further, this weapon is said to be

For ordinary people, Mandau may be just an ordinary sword, but of course this one weapon is more than that. From the physical, it seems that Mandau is a typical weapon with lethal ability. And if we explore further, this weapon is also said to contain extraordinary magical powers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *