Dayak warrior helmet ornament

These two headpieces are made of prefabricated brass sheet. The material is purchased from the Coastal Malays. They were chiseled out of the basic material on a hard base and designed in detail with files. The edge is partly punched. The surface has a strong age patina. The attachments are convexly curved, which gives them more strength and adapts them to the shape of the head. The motifs are composed of stylised dragon motifs (aso) and human faces. The basically symmetrical motifs sometimes mutate into tree-like, vegetal forms that refer to the World Tree.

This type of headdress is especially common in the Dayak South and East Kalimantans. These are mainly the Kajan and Ngadju, but also smaller groups. The headdress is worn by the initiated, high-ranking warriors, mainly at festivals, but sometimes also during war. For this purpose they are tied on strong caps made of coarse rattan.

Object Warrior helmet ornament, hat ornament, “tap lavong kayo”
Culture Iban(Dayak), Borneo, Sarawak
Time 20th century
Dimensions Height 15cm/16cm,  diameter 11cm/11,5 cm
Material Brass
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