Photographer: August Sachtler (c. 1839-1873). Dayak house with skull trophies, Borneo. 1870s. Albumen print. 21,5 x 27,5 cm. Mounted to board, annotated in pencil on mount verso.
Among the ethnic groups of the Sarawak area in northwestern Borneo, the Dayaks were the best known. These groups practiced headhunting, which is why they attracted the interest of ethnologists early on. The skulls of killed enemies were considered trophies and status symbols, which were gladly presented in public, as seen in the photo offered here. A print of this image is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. – A few light surface scuff marks, some fading, otherwise in good condition.
Lit.: Georg Buschan: Illustrierte Völkerkunde. II:I. Stuttgart 1923, ill. plate 40, p. 801.
Thomas Theye (ed.). Der geraubte Schatten. Photographie als ethnographisches Dokument. Munich 1989, ill. p. 344.