Fire Saw


From: Borneo | Sarawak

Curatorial Section: Oceanian

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Object Number P494B
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Kayan
Provenience Borneo | Sarawak
Section Oceanian
Materials Wood

Laki Pesang [pesong]. A "piece of soft fibrous wood, which is held down by the feet. . . and rests upon a bundle of fine slivers of dry wood; underneath it, is passed a strip of dry but flexible bambo, which is sawed back and forth until the friction starts a spark in the fine dust which has been thereby rubbed up; the spark is fostered and soon blown into a flame in the bundle of slivers. When the materials are in proper condition, fire can be produced in much less than a minute." A primitive and ceremonial way of making fire, used for starting a fire for the first time in a new house, or at the naming of a child, on which occasion "the piece of soft wood is carved into a grotesque head at one end. The image thus made is called Laki Pesong. . . ." (The Home-Life of Borneo Head-Hunters)

Length 30 cm
Credit Line Gift of Dr. William H. Furness 3rd., 1898

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