Mandau – According to Michael Coomans, in his book entitled Manusia Daya (1987), the Dayak people live in traditional traditional beliefs. For the Dayak people, mystical events become objects of belief. Therefore, mystical things become real and objective things. Mandau is a cultural object that is not separated from this magical assumption. More than just a weapon, the Dayak people believe in the mandau that their ancestral spirits reside.


Anatomically, the mandau consists of two parts: the blade and the sarong (which is called kumpang). The original Mandau is made of mountain rock that contains iron. Just like keris in Java, mandau is not made by just anyone. Mandau was made by a blacksmith who was also able to “fill” the mandau with the spirits of the ancestors so that it could add strength to those who owned it.

The blade of the mandau is shaped like a tingang which the Dayak people consider a sacred bird. Although the blade is uniform in the shape of a tingang bird, each mandau has different carvings.

Meanwhile, kumpang is made of wood covered with deer antlers. Kumpang is usually decorated with various carvings. This carving is said to be believed to be able to repel wild animals that try to get close. At the base of the kumpang, there is a knitted rattan which functions as a hook at the waist. Meanwhile, on the side, there is a small pocket that is usually filled with chisel knives or other traditional weapons that are smaller than the mandau.

Many Dayak tribal elders call the mandau a threshold. In terms of form, Mandau and Senggigi are indeed similar. But on closer inspection, there is a huge difference. The threshold can be said to be an imitation of the mandau. Unlike the mandau, the threshold is made of ordinary iron. The threshold also does not contain gold in the carving and does not “contain” like the mandau.

The price of a mandau and the threshold is much different. If the threshold can be purchased at a price of around Rp. 300,000, the price of the Dayak mandau can reach tens of millions of rupiah. In addition to being unique and containing gold, people who have a mandau are believed to have a bar. Penyang is a science that was passed on by our ancestors in war. It is said that people who hold the mandau will be equipped with attack skills, so that they become powerful and strong against any weapon. [AhmadIbo / IndonesiaKaya]

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