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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
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Handle from a Mandau Sword

Kayanic, Dayak, Borneo, Indonesia
Early 20th c

The Dayak, known for their delicate and intricate carving abilities, produced these detailed sword handles out of deer antler. The decoration on this example is exquisite. Three anthropomorphic open mouth faces project out from the top of the handle. Other decoration is found surrounding the handle, each carrying a symbolic meaning. The hilt is bound with a woven metal wire, which is quite rare to find.  Most handles are bound with rattan fiber.

Handle from a Mandau Sword

Kayanic, Dayak, Borneo, Indonesia
Early 20th c

The Dayak, known for their delicate and intricate carving abilities, produced these detailed sword handles out of deer antler. The decoration on this example is exquisite. Three anthropomorphic open mouth faces project out from the top of the handle. Other decoration is found surrounding the handle, each carrying a symbolic meaning. The hilt is bound with a woven metal wire, which is quite rare to find.  Most handles are bound with rattan fiber.

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