Keug Modang: A Comprehensive Monograph on the Mandau in Modang Indigenous Society

If there's a quiz, or someone asks, "What is the traditional weapon of the Dayak people, besides the blowpipe?" the answer would undoubtedly be the mandau.

Not wrong! However, it's incomplete. The score isn't optimal. It earns a reversed chair mark. The "student" still needs to expand their knowledge. More learning is required.

The mandau in Dayak society

Reading this book carefully, and as quickly as possible, we realize that the mandau in Dayak society, both generally and specifically, isn't just for "war." The mandau is multi-functional and multi-faceted!

The mandau is an essential tool in daily life, whether for making a living, self-defense, or as part of traditional ceremonies, especially for men. It's also crucial for women, who carry it while farming or going to the forest, serving as both a protective tool and a work instrument.

This book deserves a warm reception from all of us. It's an effort to delve into the tacit knowledge passed down from generation to generation. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

This book dispels misconceptions and incorrect stereotypes held by outsiders who think that carrying a mandau everywhere means Dayak people are always ready for war or attack. For the Modang people in East Kalimantan, the mandau is truly multifunctional. What is its purpose? The mandau is an essential multi-functional tool for everyone in the Modang indigenous society, especially for men who rightfully own a mandau.

Every day, the mandau is used for various activities: farming, hunting, crafting, collecting rattan, cutting wood for cooking, and more. It’s indispensable and always in use.

Thus, it is a mistaken perception that carrying a mandau everywhere signifies a constant readiness for war or attack among Dayak people.

How different is it from us, modern people of today, who carry tools for living wherever we go? Cars, laptops, phones, and so on. These are all "tools for living," signs of readiness, available for use anytime and anywhere!

Tthis book sheds light on the multifunctional nature of the mandau

The publication of this book sheds light on the multifunctional nature of the mandau, its various types, and its unique philosophy.

Through the mandau and its philosophy, we delve into the customs, culture, and rich traditions of the Dayak Modang clan or sub-tribe. The Dayak Modang is a sub-tribe of the Dayak people residing in Kutai Kertanegara Regency and Kutai Timur Regency, East Kalimantan Province.

The work of Frans Jiu Luay, researched over many years and published with much effort, is a testament to a dedicated Dayak Modang scholar with broad insight. A scholar called to build understanding from within, illustrating how the Dayak Modang truly live, interact, and integrate the mandau into their daily lives.

The publication of this collaborative work is to be warmly welcomed. Not only does it add a significant entry to the literature on Dayak heritage from an insider’s perspective, but it also clarifies misconceptions, helping us understand and appreciate the Dayak Modang way of life through the lens of the mandau.

The book measures 14 x 21 cm and contains 106 pages. Interested readers can contact Frans Jiu Luay at 081254246578.

Publisher/Printer: Sinar Bagawan Khatulistiwa in collaboration with Lembaga Literasi Dayak.

Luxurious. Full color. Printed on 100-gram HVS paper, durable for hundreds of years as a written document. 

-- Ruma Kencana

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