Dayak Sword Handle

Dayak Sword Handle

An Elaborately Carved Indonesian Example

This Indonesian sword handle is a fine work of Dayak carving that makes strong reference to the artists’ spiritual world. In the skeletal form we see reference to the cult of the ancestors. The shape is also highly suggestive of a link with Polynesian art, specifically that of the Maori hei-tiki figure. An interesting link given the shared, though distant, ancestry between these two diverse peoples.

 

DAYAK SWORD HANDLE, MANDAU

DAYAK SWORD HANDLE, MANDAU | EASTERN BORNEO, INDONESIA

 

Elaborately carved with a skeletal figure shown projecting away from the handle, the figure is surrounded byintricate scrolling detail and animal forms. The underside of the handle is sculpted with a human face mask indicated by low relief etching and a triangular projection forming the nose, a second mask is identified by rotating the piece 180 degrees. 

 


 

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AFRICAN & OCEANIC ART, ANTIQUITIES AND NATURAL HISTORY

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