Monday, June 25, 2012

Swords & Stuff.

This is coolbert:

 Here with a whole bunch of related stuff regarding Tom Harrisson, the Dayak, swords of the Dayak, "going native", etc.

 1. This image of a serviceman with a Dayak, that serviceman [not identifiable as an American airman or one of the Australian special forces troops] adopting "native" dress.


 The serviceman having "gone native" the sarong, barefoot and the amulet. The Dayak on the right wearing shoes please note. 

 2. "Going native" not a term of endearment to the British Foreign office, the representative of the sovereign in far-flung Empire having adopted "native" dress and costume, eschewing "western" dress. Persons such as T.E. Lawrence or St. John Philby for instance. American Special Forces the vanguard of the military operation in Afghan [2001] finding that the wearing of beards a necessity, grown men among the Afghan NOT having a beard being considered effeminate and not manly!! American SF men defying regulations to "better fit in".

 3. Here an excerpt describing the first Dayak guerrilla warfare expedition led by the special forces unit as commanded by Tom Harrisson. Dayak [described as Iban] going at the task with glee and much enjoyment, and NOT even discouraged by their Australian mentors:

 Thanks to Google from the book: "The Most Offending Soul Alive: Tom Harrisson and His Remarkable Life"

 "Chapter 22 The Ants take Heads." 

 "That night, Sandy and Phil prepared themselves and the Iban men of the long house to enter into their first military action . . . 'Those without [guns] prepared blowpipe darts and sharpened parangs. From off the ceilings came colourful [Iban] battle jackets and feathered head dresses.' . . . Two of the Ibans hailed the Japanese on the longhouse veranda, complained of malaria, and asked the Japanese for quinine. 'They reached the veranda with the pretence of collecting the medicine but instead pulled out their parangs and lopped two Japanese heads off.' . . . The Ibans were overcome with excitement at the first heads taken in decades . . . There were not enough heads. . . . At the next longhouse, the Ibans . . . had already tied up their four Japanese soldiers . . . the four prisoners were taken across the river and shot . . . 'The Ibans then took the four heads . . . The blood squired into the river and changed the colour of the water and the women and children screeched.'"

 4. The sword of the Dayak best called a parang and NOT a machete as that latter weapon commonly understood. The parang made from the iron ore of meteorites having fallen to earth in some distant past. The Dayak I would have to assume knowing metallurgy of an esoteric variety, probably learning the fine art of Damascus steel from Arab traders, a weapon razor sharp and honed to a fineness that cuts a head off so clean. A weapon in the minds of the Dayak even having SUPERNATURAL POWERS!!

 "Like the Keris, the Dayak Parang, is believed to have supernatural power and is transmitted from generation to generation. Good quality blades are made of iron which does not oxidize. Also like the Keris, meteorite ore including titanium, was used to make blades."

 5. Depending whee they live, the Dayak referred to by an ethnic designation, various groups living on the coast, rivers, or inland. That tribe recruited by Tom Harrisson living inland and reportedly Christian to a degree and NOT Muslim!!

 "The Dayak live in Borneo and are divided in various ethnic groups: the Penan, Klemantan, Kenyah, Kayan, Murut and Iban people. The Iban, known as Sea Dayak and famous as pirates, were converted to Islam by the Malays and were probably the latest of the Dayak to arrive in Borneo."

 6. Thanks to Federico this image of Moro Datu Abdul. From around the year 1900? A Filipino Muslim related by kinship to the Dayak? Note the Krag-Jorgesen rifle, the pearl handled revolver AND THE SWORD. All worn proudly. That rifle and revolver more than likely taken off the dead body of an American soldier.


 Moro Datu Abdul. I so do love this photo!! That form-fitting sharkskin [?] suit affording protection against glancing sword thrusts? 

 The Moro and the Dayak not feeling completed dressed and ready for a time on the town unless the obligatory sword a part of the outfit!!

 7. As for the taking of heads in modern times, from that prior blog entry: "That taking of heads by the Dayak no longer a practice?" I am able to answer my own question referring back to an earlier blog entry. YES indeed heads are still taken. That island nation of Borneo, the Indonesian part, recent civil unrest between various ethnic groups resulting in HEAD-HUNTING AND THE TAKING OF TROPHIES!!

 Those ancient ways of the traditional people long suppressed under the certain circumstances becoming again apparent, the practitioners relishing the task evidently.


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