cannon, malaysia, ceremony, ethnography, moesgaard museum, collections, momu, anthropology

Ceremonial cannon

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Can we just talk about how awesome this cannon is?

It is not that big – about 67 centimetres in length – but that is actually one of the great things about it. Because cannons are usually these gigantic beasts, but this one you can actually carry in your arms. Don’t get me wrong – it is pretty damn heavy. But none the less, you can get to hold a cannon in your arms. And, if you are anything like me, you can also put it on your shoulder and pretend you are firing it like a bazooka…

The cannon was collected by anthropologist Ida Nicolaisen in Sarawak, Malaysia, among the Punan Ba people in 1973. Here is how she describes it in our database:

The cannon was formerly used ceremonially. It was fired during the weddings of chiefs and the like. I do not know how much they were used in warfare, but they have not been very significant as weapons of war. They are very hard to aim with”.

There is something inherently adorable about things in miniature. Think baby shoes and tiny cherry tomatoes. And somehow this rule of nature even extends to a miniature cannon. I do not know how it looked when it was fired at the lavish wedding of some chief, but I cannot help but smile at the thought of it, launching a miniature cannon ball in a miniature puff of smoke, aiming at nothing in particular.

//Sophie Seebach

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putting thought to things

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