Language: Dayak
Source: Period sources


Kemalau, also known as gutta-percha, is a natural thermoplastic latex made from the sap of the Palaquium gutta tree.1

Among its many uses, it was used to join the blade of the mandau sword of the Dayak of Borneo to its hilt.


Dayak mandau hilt

A Dayak mandau hilt, made of carved deerhorn.
The black substance between rattan braid and blade is kemalau.


1. S.W. Tromp; Mededeelingen omtrent mandau's. Den Haag, 1887. Published in Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie,  International Gesellschaft für Ethnographie; Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leiden, 1888. Volume 1, page 24.

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Based on the Dutch Beaumont mechanism, but with Indonesian twist forged barrel and golden inlays.


With broad silver-clad scabbard, worked entirely in repousse.


With finely carved horn hilt, silver mounts and reshaped European blade.


Of Chinese manufacture, traded widely and used gainst the Dutch during the Aceh Wars in 1873–1904.


A sikin panjang with a triple golden crown.


A peculiar form of dagger found on the northern part of the island of Sumatra.