Blowgun Item Number: Ib416 from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Blowgun of natural dark brown wood. Thin metal lance-olate blade lashed to shaft with four sets of rattan binding, the lowest one of which is wrapped around four times while the middle two are wrapped around twice and the top one is wrapped around multiple times. Muzzle is plugged with pandanus leaves. Shaft widens slightly from muzzle to butt end, where it flares to form mouthpiece. Mouthpiece slightly concave; hole at centre (0.9 cm.) edged with red wax. Pith inside hole with small hole bored through length.

History Of Use

A traditional weapon used for hunting (and warfare?). Unlike most tribes of Borneo, the Punan are not agricultural. Most blowguns have attached blades. They fire small darts which are effective only when poisoned; a typical poison is ipoh, a natural strychnine. Leaves are used to stop the muzzle to keep out insects.

Cultural Context

Dual weapon.