From North Borneo With Love



Last summer, I travelled to Barcelona, Spain with some friends. Apparently we managed to get a cheap flight from Dublin even though summer flights to Spain or Italy are generally more expensive in this time of the year. We spent a week in Barcelona visiting famous places like the Sagrada Familia, the beach and also enjoying exquisite Spanish foods and not to mention the night outs in Las Ramblas area. Anyway, towards the end of the trip I thought perhaps its a good idea to start hunting for stamps instead. It's actually hard to find any philatelic shops in Barcelona as they are usually located in the periphery of the city. Nevertheless, I managed to find two postcards and here's one of them that I bought from one of the shops for €8! That's definetely one of the best bargain I had in the trip. You can sell this type of postcard in ebay for 1000% of the original value at €80 or more; like this one here offered by an ebay seller for US$ 99.99 even without a stamp.


The postcard above was published by Funk & Sons, Sandakan, North Borneo from 1906-1920s showing three semi nude Dayak women. The postcard was posted from Sandakan on 1st of December 1931 to Señor Jose Ordiñana of Barcelona and arrived on 9 January 1932 (1 month). The postcard is in sepia colour rather than black and white and an 8 cent North Borneo stamp was used; cancelled with a clear Sandakan postmark. At the back, the green colour writing was added to the postcard later, most likely by the receiver.

The three women on the postcard are shown to wear a traditional Dayak costume at that time. They wear coils of brass on the abdomen with belts made of coins on the hip. There is also a chain of smaller coins at the end of their 'sarong' which I suppose will make a jingling sound whenever they move about. All three women are holding something, of which I could not make out what, possibly a little something from the photographer.

Demographic Information of North Borneo

The only Dayak tribe in North Borneo is the Muruts, forming the third largest indigenous group in North Borneo after Kadazandusun and Bajau. The three women above do not seem to be from the Murut ethnic group due their distinctive traditional costume. I think they are more likely to be of Iban ethnic group of Sarawak. Dayak people are the well known headhunters of Borneo, used to be animists but now mostly converted to Christianity and some to Islam. Dayak is an umbrella term for many other subgroups such as Iban, Bidayuh, Kenyah, Kayan, Kelabit, Penan etc. In North Borneo, Murut and Lun Bawang are considered the Dayaks, mainly inhabiting the southern part of the region, bordering Sarawak and Kalimantan, (Dutch Borneo).


pakitong said...

You have really an amazing post card and stamp, you can make more profit to this on eBay I am definitely sure.

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