Headhunting, the practice of taking and preserving a person's head after killing, has been the subject of intense discussion within the anthropological community as to its possible social roles, function, and motivations.
In Borneo, headhunting was usually a ritual activity rather than an act of war or feuding and involved the taking of a single head. Headhunting acted as a catalyst for the cessation of personal and collective mounting for the community's dead. Ideas of manhood and marriage were encompassed in the practice, and the taken heads were highly prized.
Borneo still lures with myths and legends, and most famous of all stories are probably those about headhunting. Already in early colonial days Borneo gained its reputation as a place where 'headhunters roam in wild and untamed jungles'. Reports of daring adventurers and explorers were chilling enough: communal houses, and from the smoke blackened rafters hung endless rows of human skulls, revered in song and deed.
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