Saturday, January 3, 2009

Head-hunting in Borneo



The name of Borneo is properly best known by its extraordinary image of head hunting activities during the pre-colonial era. Murut (indigenous ethnic from Sabah) and Iban (indigenous ethnic from Sarawak) were the two famous groups of Head Hunter"s in Borneo during that time. The Murut was the last of Sabah ethnic group to forsake head hunting. Collecting heads of enemies was a ritual activity in the Murut"s community. A head taken gives the young Murut recognition of manhood, proof of his skill & valour. As for the Iban of Sarawak area fearsome warriors, a head trophy is personal badge of honor. At festival, placated head can bring blessings to a longhouse whereas ignored or insulted ones can wreak havoc in the form of bad dreams, flood, epidemic or fire. The head hunting activities in Borneo was rife until the advent of the British North Borneo Chartered Company. Of course now morden day is not we dont hunted a head anymore .

2 comments:

R2K said...

: )

Alcuin Bramerton said...

Presumably, when head-hunting, the location of the body attached to the head gives significant clues about the whereabouts of the head? My enquiry arises from vulgar curiosity only.