Quivers fashioned from bamboo tubes were used by hunters throughout Borneo to hold blowpipe darts for the hunting of animals. This lidded tube was an essential item used to protect the hunter from the darts that were treated with strong plant derived poisons intended to stun prey. A long clip carved from wood and fastened to the bamboo tube with plaited rattan would have been used to attach the quiver to the hunter’s loincloth or belt. Hunting, like many utilitarian activities on Borneo, was associated with physical and spiritual perils. Symbolic imagery in the form of guardian dragon–dog (‘aso’) motifs, depicted on the clip of this quiver, would have provided protection to the hunter against misfortune and malevolent nature spirits.
Poison dart container
Container for poison darts
19th century-20th century
bamboo, wood, rattan
42.5 x 11.0 x 9.0 cm :
a - Part a, 40 x 12 x 9 cm
b - Part b, 10 x 9 x 8 cm
Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
Christopher Wilson, pre Nov 1986-1996, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, probably purchased in Sarawak, Malaysia mid 1970s or 1985. Appears in 'Southeast Asian tribal art', an unpublished text by Christopher Wilson, College of Fine Arts, Sydney, November 1986.
Mariann Ford, 1996-Dec 2010, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, inherited from the estate of Christopher Wilson. Gift to the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010.