john tiong chunghoo

Gold Star - 5,079 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Head Hunting - Poem by john tiong chunghoo

British heads, Japanese heads
Chinese heads....all became coveted
Trophies in savage Borneo centuries ago,
The adventurous spirits of the foreigners
Versus the overwhelming fervours of
Local tribesmen to add to their head collections
Resulting in something quite unsavoury.
A familiar scene in retrospect...hundreds
Of tatooed parang wielding tribal men
Descending on another tribe, an ocean going ship
Or a longhouse....turning the chance meeting
Into a grisly bloodbath chopping off heads,
Lopping them off into wicker baskets and
Carrying them off as prizes to prove their
Their manhood and to renew their fortune.
No skull meant no bride for a man in old Borneo
fuelling the vibrant headhunting tradition
All over the island then.Headhunting? Anyone?

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 18, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, June 10, 2010

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