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Three Hardwood Blowpipes

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Design, Ethnographic & Ancient Art

Three Hardwood Blowpipes

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Three Hardwood Blowpipes

Borneo

Blowpipes are used by many tribes people throughout the world generally for killing small creatures for food although they also have a reputation for having been used to kill human enemies.

These three long slender blow-pipes were made in Borneo, probably by the Penan people of Sarawak in the north of the island (now part of Malaysia). The most suitable wood is a very dense slow growing hardwood called belian which is first painstakingly hollowed out, nowadays using an iron rod but historically bone was used. After several days when the channel has been completed the exterior is carved away, then sanded and rubbed with leaves to leave it absolutely smooth. It is used with poison dipped arrows which will kill a small animal instantly.

Lengths:
209 cm (82.5 in)
196 cm (77.25 in)
181 cm (71.5 in) with an ivory inset mouthpiece

Provenance: Private Belgian Collection

To see the making of a traditional blowpipe please go to the following website https://www.junglesinparis.com/stories/borneo-s-last-blowpipe-specialists

1665/2974

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