Dayak Carved Head Trophy

A good carved Iban Dayak Head trophy from Northern Borneo/Sarawak. The skull showing good age and a rich colour, carved to the top with floral motifs. There are several pierced areas presumably to take decorative applications, one to each cheek and upper eye ridge, one to each bone near the ear region. There is also a larger circular hole at the rear of the skull presumably from which it was hung. Skull, tooth and suture development suggest this was taken from a young woman in her late teens. Headtaking was an integral part of Iban life until the late 19th century, ideas of manhood and marriage were encompassed in the practice, and the taken heads were highly prized and were used, displayed and presented as gifts. This head was collected in Borneo during the 1940's by the previous owners Grandfather, although it would certainly appear to date to the last century and would have been kept as an heirloom.