DAYAK TRIBE:
BORNEO ISLAND INDONESIA
HAND CARVED HUMAN HEADHUNTING
TROPHY SKULLS #41



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DAYAK  TRIBE: HUMAN HEADHUNTING TROPHY SKULL #41
HAND CARVED HUMAN SKULL AND SHELL

Headhunting is the practice of taking and preserving a
person's head after killing the person. Headhunting was practised in historic
times in parts of Oceania, South and Southeast Asia, West and Central Africa,
 and Mesoamerica, as well as among certain tribes of the Celts, the West
Germanic tribes, the Vikings and Scythians of ancient Europe. It
occurred in Europe until the 19th century in Montenegro, Croatia, and
western parts of Herzegovina and to the end of the Middle Ages in
Ireland and the Anglo-Scottish border regions.

As a practice, headhunting has been the subject of intense
discussion within the anthropological community as to its
possible social roles, functions, and motivations. Themes that
arise in anthropological writings about headhunting include
mortification of the rival, ritual violence, cosmological balance,
the display of manhood, cannibalism, prestige, and as a means
of securing the services of the victim as a slave in the afterlife.

Headhunting has been practiced worldwide and
may go back to Paleolithic times. In deposits of the
Late Paleolithic Azilian culture found at Ofnet in Bavaria,
carefully decapitated heads were buried separately
from the bodies, indicating beliefs in the special sanctity
or importance of the head.

In Europe the practice survived until the early
20th century in the Balkan Peninsula, where the taking
of the head implied the transfer of the soul matter of the
decapitated to the decapitator. The complete head was taken
by Montenegrins as late as 1912, being carried by a lock of hair
worn allegedly for that purpose. In the British Isles the practice
continued approximately to the end of the Middle Ages
in Ireland and the Scottish marches.

In Africa headhunting was known in Nigeria, where, as in Indonesia,
it was associated with the fertility of the crops, with marriage, and
with the victim's obligation as a servant in the next world.

In Káfiristán (now Nūrestān) in eastern Afghanistan, headhunting
was practiced until about the end of the 19th century. In the northeast
of India, Assam was famous for headhunting, and indeed all the
peoples living south of the Brahmaputra River Garos, Khasis,
Nagas, and Kukis formerly were headhunters. Headhunting
in Assam was normally carried on by parties of raiders
who depended on surprise tactics to achieve their ends.

The Dayak, from Borneo Island Indonesia, are feared for their ancient
tradition of headhunting practices. Among the Iban Dayak,
the origin of headhunting was believed to be one
of the mourning rules given to them by a spirit.

The Dayak believe in a "sacred jar," which is only to be opened by Dayak
warriors, who have obtained a human head, or can present a human head,
which was acquired in a fight; or by a warrior who has
returned from a sojourn into enemy territory.

Contemporary scholars generally agree that its primary function
was ceremonial and that it was part of the process of structuring,
reinforcing, and defending hierarchical relationships between
communities and individuals. Some experts theorize that the practice
stemmed from the belief that the head contained "soul matter"
or life force, which could be harnessed through its capture.

The Iban Dayak's "Ngayau" ritual
headhunting rules specify; the first time a warrior takes a head or
captures a prisoner, he must present that head or captive
to his superior to acknowledge his leadership.

In addition, the Dayak Ngayau headhunting regulations dictate;
if a warrior takes two heads or captives, one must be given to
his leader; the other is kept by the worrier
responsible for the kill or capture.

The Asmat Tribe, from Irian Jaya Indonesia on the other hand,
collect and worship ancestor skulls to remember their deceased family members.
Each Asmat sub group decorate their skulls differently. The Asmat usually use
feathers, seeds and carved sea shell nose rings to decorate their skulls.

THE IFUGAO TRIBE, FROM THE PHILIPPINES, PLACE HEADHUNTED
HUMAN TROPHY SKULLS OUTSIDE THEIR HUTS, AS WELL AS,
MOUNT THEM OVER THEIR HEARTHS INSIDE THEIR HOMES.

THE DAYAK, IFUGAO, AND NAGA HUMAN SKULLS ARE HEAD HUNTING TROPHIES.
THE ASMAT
, VANUATU, AND PALAWAN HUMAN SKULLS ARE ALSO CONSIDERED
"ANCESTOR"  SKULLS. THE DIFFERENCE IS; HEAD HUNTED SKULLS
ARE ACQUIRED FROM ENEMY
VICTIMS!

ANCESTOR SKULLS ARE COLLECTED AND VENERATED TO REMEMBER

 DECEASED FAMILY MEMBERS. THE IFUGAO COLLECT BONES OF DEAD
RELATIVES; WRAP THEM IN TRIBAL TEXTILES, AND STORE THEM IN THE
RAFTERS UNDER THEIR  HUTS. HUMAN SKULLS AND SKULL CAPS FROM
NEPAL ARE RITUAL OFFERTORY VESSELS THAT ARE USED AS
DRINKING CUPS IN TIBETAN BUDDHIST CEREMONIES.



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