Mandau is a weapon Dayak Melayu society who live in East Kalimantan, especially in the Barito. According to folklore, the full title of this weapon is the mandau ambang birang bitang pojo ayun kayau. In ancient times Mandau weapons is always associated with mengayau tradition among the Dayak, the decapitated head of an enemy, whether in war or other. This tradition eventually became a Dayak people's confidence that the Mandau is often used to mengayau considered more sacred, while the owner is considered the more powerful and higher social status. But now, with the loss of mengayau tradition since the beginning of the 20th century AD, Mandau not sacred as first. Mandau has become a common weapon that not only enabled to mengayau, but also for hunting, felling trees, cutting branches and digging tubers.

History records that the original Mandau made ​​of volcanic rock that is melted in particular by those skilled, with ornate gold, silver or copper. This weapon is similar to a machete, the difference lies only in the carvings are made in part a dull blade. In addition, in this bar also made the holes covered with brass blades in order to beautify it. On the other hand, Mandau almost the same position for Javanese Keris, or rencong for people of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.

 Yohannes Alam Mntra, Mandau Crafters in Ketapang,West Borneo


Usually Mandau consists of ulu (grip), gloves and blades. Ulu made ​​of wood and given a choice of decorations, including the form of tassels, tufts of human hair taken from the heads of people who already dikayau, serves as an addition to the awesomeness and efficacy. Meanwhile, the sheath is made of wood which is also decorated with various ornaments, including beads and feathers. In this case the child slipped a knife Mandau long-stemmed small rodents. While the Mandau blades measuring about 70 cm long, pointy tip with a different width from the base. The width at the ends about 6, 5 ​​cm, while at the base of approximately 3.5 cm. Sharp side is located on the front, while the dull (blunt) it in the back. On the backs have carved a jagged shape diperindah also with other metals other than iron, such as copper or brass.

Basically, the types of Mandau at all Dayak tribes have the same form. But there is little difference when viewed in terms of the curvature of the blade: the blade is slightly curved, straight, some are slightly leaning backwards. These characteristics distinguish the types such as type of Mandau Mandau ilang an almost straight; Mandau Langgi tinggang curved backward; Mandau naibor or naibur who wore a kind of hook, almost like pea flowers on the dagger near the base. In addition, there is also a type of Mandau and Mandau pakagan bayou that each has its own shape variation. Of the different types and forms of decoration that is in Mandau, will note that the Mandau with certain traits are the property of Maayan Dayak, Dayak from those, Bahau Dayak, Dayak Ngaju, or other Dayak sub-tribes. However, it has not found a further explanation of the Dayak tribes who have these types of Mandau.