Katapu or Kalapu is a traditional war cap or helmet used by Dayaks of Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia).:344:158 Katapu Kaloi is a sea dayak war cap, made by sewing large fish scales on cap made from a bast-like material.:344
The Katapu is made of natural materials. There are different versions that are common throughout Indonesia. The katapu is only worn during war. It is woven from thick rattan strands that are split lengthways in the middle. It has a sturdy inner helmet that offers very good protection against sword blows. The helmet is often reinforced with other materials. For this purpose, metal plates, large fish scales, pangolin scales, bear skin, monkey skin or the skins of other animals are used. Various materials are also used for decoration such as: wattle, poultry feathers, claws, beaks, skulls of hornbills, human hair, hair of other living things, shells, teeth of bears and panthers, etc. The decorations of the helmets are often designed in the shape of a monster head. The edge of the helmet can be framed with metal strips or wrapped in red flannel. The shells of the Nassa shell are also used. Decorations with the feathers of the hornbill are intended for warriors who have already fought in the war and serve as a status symbol. The feathers can represent the number of enemies killed. The Katapu helmets are used not only to protect against wounds, but also to act martially on the battlefield. The katapu is used by dayak ethnic groups in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Katapu made of rattan, decorated with pangolin scales
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