Parang Mandau, Borneo Island – Used for Warfare and Head-Taking. Early to mid 20th century. Mandau is the commonly used name for a type of sword from the island of Borneo. It was popularized by adventurer Carl Alfred Bock, the word literally means “headhunter. This machete-like Mandau Dayak sword is housed in it’s original intricately carved wooden scabbard with wrapped rattan and braided rattan strap. It is from the Dayak people and from the Iban sub-group who were renowned for headhunting. The hilt is made of carved deer horn representing aso (dog-dragon) and leeches. The leech (lemetek) is associated with blood sucking and so was considered an appropriate motif for a weapon, The blade is of hardened iron. Attached by a bark sheath is it’s original small by-knife with a long handle. Believed to be used to clean out human skulls and skinning. Adorned with a large carved shell ornament.