Friday, December 2, 2016

Dayak’s blowpipes

Animals are taken by many methods of which blowpipe hunting is the best known. This unique weapon has come to symbolize the Orang Asli to outsiders.

The blowpipe is effective only against relatively small game and is used primarily to take tree dwelling mammals and birds, such as squirrels, monkeys or hornbills.

Dayak tribes often use blowpipe to hunt pigs and monkeys an in warfare against their enemies. Such blowpipes are called sumpit. The Dayak sumpit is a narrow tube about two to three meters long made of hardwood or bamboo fitted with iron sights and short days. With a quarter-inch-diameter hole had drilled down its length, the blowpipe was a work of art.

For Dayak people, they always carried a blowpipe with a spear had when hunting animals, but they would carry a real spear if they were hunting for human heads.

With an almost silent puff of breath a man could force one of darts down the core of the blowpipe and as far as 150 feet. The dart shaft falls away in impact and the deadly poisoned tip firmly embeds in the prey’s flesh.

The poison, made in secret rites from herbs and the bark of a special tree was so strong that the prey would almost immediately experience convulsions and paralysis. The death occurs within three minutes.

Many cultures including Dayak have adapted their hunting weapons such as blowpipe for the battlefield.
Dayak’s blowpipes
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