VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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War costume and equipment
MPE 62347 plus others
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The mandau has been used by Dayak headhunters: this item is complete with a secondary knife, harness and a set of amulets. The hilt and the scabbard are profusely decorated with carvings and tufts of coloured hair. The blade is engraved with the same patterns we find on the blade of the spear. On the tip of the sumpitan a spear-head is attached by means of brass threads. It has a quiver/tolor for poisoned darts. The painted wooden trabai is strengthened in the width with rattan strips. Jacket/gagong, helmet/katapu, and mandau mountings, all showing the same rich decoration, were definitely intended for a noble owner. Their high quality and royal provenance, adding to it's ethnographic interest, give these items great historical value

History of the Object
These items were part of a collection of 59 objects which were sent by Charles Brooke (Rajah of Sarawak from 1868 to 1917) to Umberto I the King of Italy (1878-1900) in 1898.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Jacket and helmet: leopard hide, horn bill feathers, mother-of-pearl, hair. Sword: deer horn, steel, beads, hair, wood. Spear and blow-pipe: wood, steel, brass. Quiver: bamboo. Shield: wood, rattan 
Measurements
Sword/mandau length cm 74. Spear length cm 219. Blow-pipe/sumpitan length cm 220. Shield/trabai length cm127 Shield/trabai width cm 39. 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Malaysia; Borneo (Sarawak) 
Geography
Malaysia 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
19th Century - 20th Century; 1804-1929; Anuvong Period 
Function
War equipment 
Acquisition
Presented by Rajah Charles Johnson Brooke to the King of Italy, who donated it to the Museum in 1899. 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Francesco de Feo, Loretta Paderni Photo: Giorgio Bronchi, Fabio Naccari ©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Owner
Museo Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, RomaState property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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