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tribaltextiles.info • View topic - Borneo warrior's woven "boccus"

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:07 am 
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Popular novelist, Dan Brown refers to his main character's home "packed with religious artifacts from around the world" "and even a rare woven boccus from Borneo, a young warrior's symbol of perpetual youth." on page 21 of "Angels and Demons". I have searched the Web and found fascinating websites about textiles, baskets and Borneo music, but no mention of this word "boccus" as part of Borneo's culture.
Having studied linguistics, I know that languages sometimes undergo consonant shifts and vowel changes. eg. "b" can become "p". Does anyone know this word boccus in relation to Borneo? Warriors had items woven as textiles: jackets (kelambi),headband of plaited rattan or skull caps, belts, necklaces,ear ornaments;sirat (loin cloth),"Sea Dayak especially delights in winding many yards of brilliantly coloured cloth about his waist, in brilliant coats and gorgeous turbans". They had woven baskets and plaited bags and Shaman's charms.
Can anyone please tell me which item is a boccus? A photo would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:02 am 
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Hi Wendy,

What follows is a distillation of a conversation between two linguists My husband wrote "The Phonology of the Word in Mentu Land Dayak"and I'm a psycholinguist and general knowitall.

As far as we know there is no such word in any of the languages we're familiar with. Although penis sheaths are also found throughout New Guinea, many are far more "fixed" (ie horn or metal) than pliable weave.

When I did some field work (years ago) in the Philippines, I bought some very nice and feather covered penis sheaths, which I presented to some friends. It was rather later when a professor informed me there was no history of phallic worship, and my gifts were tourist art.

I think the author was playing with words since boccus is clearly modeled on Bacchus, and has Latin structure. Just take it as an amusing word with no basis in reality.

However, I could be wrong, and I'm very interested in reading what others contribute.

Sandie


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:15 am 
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All I can say is that the phallus is a major religious symbol in Thailand and thereabouts with phalluses (?) with inscriptions in Pali. They are called Palad-khik in Thailand. They also have large freestanding pieces called dofmai-jao (Heavenly Flowers) These religious symbols go back to tomb excavations in Inner Monglolia. (around 2900 BC) Of course there is use of such images in India. It's an image that is floating all through South and Southeast Asia. It's not too much of a leap to see it reaching the Philppines. But I am not going to argue with Sandie's professor.

Bill


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 Post subject: bogus
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:59 pm 
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