Phillip Martin Art

The Asia Collection

Borneo Man

I wanted to go upriver to visit a Dayak village where the people lived in longhouses.  They were exactly what they sounded like.  Whole villages of people lived in a long building with each home connected under one roof.   They weren't measured by feet or yards.  They were measured in how many doors each longhouse contained.  I stayed in one that was twenty-six doors long.

The interior of the longhouse was cut down the middle lengthwise.  One half was a commons area where the people wove, socialized, danced, and displayed the heads of victims cut off one hundred and fifty years ago.  The other half of the building was the individual home of each family behind those twenty-six doors.  At the end of the evening, I was escorted to a lovely new accommodation built especially for tourists.  However, I did not come all the way to Borneo to not sleep in a longhouse.  A mat was tossed on the floor in that main socialize area and I slept soundly under a cluster of a few dozen human skulls.  It never occurred to me that they might want to collect another skull while I slept.

Before leaving Mejong, this ancient little man appeared in his loin cloth and feathered head gear.  In his hand was a blow gun.  No, he wasn’t hunting tourists.   He was determined to give me lessons.  He tacked a leaf to a tree ten yards away. 


I missed the target by a long shot.   A second chance with the blowgun was in order.  Pucker up one more time and blow for all my might!

Whoosh again!

Somehow, accidentally, I hit that leaf.  I took a photo to document the moment and immediately quit while I was ahead. 

Continue on to Asia Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or back to the Portraits Home Page.