Talawang, the Last Defense of the Dayaks

Helloindonesia.id – To complete the saber, the Dayak people use talawang (shields or shields) in battle. Similar to the mandau, talawang are cultural objects that were born from the Dayak people’s belief in magical powers. In addition, Talawang also has an aesthetic side that is shown in the carving motif.

Talawang
Talawang

Talawang is made from ironwood or ironwood. But, some are made of clay wood. This type of wood is a staple that is often used in making talawang. The wood was chosen because besides being lightweight, it also can last for hundreds of years.

Like a shield in general, rectangular talawang made sharp at the top and bottom. Talawang length of about 1-2 meters with a maximum width of 50 centimeters. The outside of talawang is decorated with carvings that characterize Dayak culture, while the inside is given a handle.

That said, the engraving on Talawang has a magical power that can arouse the spirit to make people who bear it strong. Talawang carvings are generally patterned by tingang birds, which are birds that are considered sacred by the Dayak tribe. In addition to the tingang bird motif, another motif often used is Kamang carvings. Kamang is an embodiment of the ancestral spirit of the Dayak tribe. Kamang motif is described by someone who is sitting using a loincloth and his face is red. Although each Dayak sub-tribe knows the culture of the mandau and talawang, it turns out that the use of colors and motifs on the talawang is different.

Over time, Talawang has shifted its use value. If in the past Talawang was used as the last defense in battle, Talawang now functions more as an aesthetic and economical display item. A beautiful patterned talawang can be valued hundreds of millions of rupiah. The price is comparable to the beauty of the motives offered by the makers. In addition, along with the Mandau, Talawang is also still used as a property in Dayak dance performances, such as the Mandau dance and the Pepatay dance.