Associated with the Headhunting Ceremony, where people would gather to attack other tribes, and gather heads to be used in various festivities, mandau is both a work of art in itself and a formidable weapon.
The blade is mostly made of tempered metals, with exquisite vineworks and inlaid brass. The hilt is made from animal horns, such as deer's horns, although some variations with human bones and fragrant wood also have been found. Both the hilt and scabbard are elaborately carved and plumed. Details of carvings vary from tribe to tribe, but mostly depict creatures or, if human bones were used, anthropomorphic deities.
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