Monsopiad was a psychotic machete-swinging blood-raging Borneo berserker motherfucker who used a custom-made sniper-rifle-style blowgun and a razor-sharp horror-movie-grade blade decorated with the hair and bones of his slain enemies to decapitate over forty enemy warriors in screaming in battle like a fucking bastard, a feat that makes him one of the most honored Dayak headhunter tribal war-chiefs in that warrior-cultures history, and the awesome-looking longhouse where he chugged rice wine surrounded by hot Malaysian babes and the skulls, bones, and hair of his defeated nemeses is now a national cultural heritage museum among the Borneo people.
If you think that sentence was just a little bit fucking excessive, just wait until you hear about the shit this guy may or may not have accomplished in a lifetime that makes even some of the most bloodthirsty blood-raging Vikings look like a bunch of seven year-old girls crying their goddamned eyes out because Justin Beiber just rode by them on a fucking Razr Scooter and bitch-slapped the ice cream cone right out of their hands.
[insert utterly-inappropriate oral sex double-ententre here]
The South Pacific island of Borneo is home to some of the most notorious headhunter warrior cultures of all time – insane tribal natives who would just as soon shank you in the retina with a poison-tipped blowgun dart and devour your still-beating heart with a side of ranch dressing as they were to welcome you to Thanksgiving dinner with some Pocahontas shit. Raiding the sea, the land, and anywhere else their canoes or legs could take them, the Dayaks and other tribes prided themselves on their hand-to-hand combat prowess, ability to decapitate motherfuckers with badass-looking machetes, and collect limited edition copies of shrunken human heads taken from enemy warriors gloriously hand-massacred in a gruesome style of warfare that vaguely resembled a cross between an ultra-violent Japanese sci-fi samurai anime and License to Kill, Slappers Only four-player Goldeneye with machetes.
According to the Dayaks, you weren't a Real Man until you'd "seen blood", engaged the enemy in combat on the field of battle, removed his head from his torso by way of a well-placed hack to the throat, and then performed a hilarious Sack Dance like you'd just dropped an opposing Quarterback in the end zone for a safety. Whacking off a dude's head was supposed to suck out his soul, adding yet another level of humiliating insult to the degradation involved with being publicly shown-up in combat and beheaded in front of all your friends and family, and that soul would then be added to the strength of the man who had killed him. It was all very Highlander, "There Can Be Only One", shit, but the Borneoans were pretty into it – if you were a hardcore Headhunter you were basically a superstar, and got all the chicks, booze, and choice cured meats, and most badass post-game after-party feasts involved local women in grass skirts dancing seductively around campfires singing about how potent and amazing you were. It was kind of like those rappers who write choruses where girls with beautiful voices sing about how horny then get whenever he takes them for rides in his Ferrari made out of ten-thousand-dollar bills that also morphs into a helicopter and something out of the Gundam Wing series.
I just love your flashy ways,
That’s why they broke and you're so paid.
Well, the general idea of Borneo Headhunters is pretty well known now, but since these dudes didn't really waste their time writing any of their history down the most we know about these dudes comes from the British explorers who landed on Borneo in the late 19th-century, immediately ran screaming away from hundreds of armed natives waving a vicious-looking array of bladed weaponry and decked out in wargear more heavily-decorated with human skulls than the most intense Warhammer 40k cover artwork ever, quickly scribbled something like, "note to self WHAT the fuck DO NOT GO HERE AGAIN" in their diaries, then went home and tried to convince the British public that they were heroes.
Still, there is one name that comes to the surface when you read about these dudes. And there's only one warrior that actually has a museum dedicated to his exploits – Monsopiad. The war-king. The guy who's story is so intense, and was passed down by word-of-mouth so long, that most of the details of his life have occasionally been chalked up to myth, folklore, and general bullshit.
I'd argue that you can say what you want – there are still 42 human skulls hanging from the ceiling of his house, all of which were removed by a sharp object traveling at high speeds, and they had to get there somewhere.
Here's his story.
Monsopiad was born an indeterminate number of generations ago, in a town called Kuai, in the Sabah region of Borneo. His grandpa was the master of the town, but he did a shitty job of it, and the town pretty much sucked gigantic fucking balls because roughly every three or four weeks a random gang of assholes would crash through the jungle, chop off the domes of any man they could catch, run off with the women, torch their huts, and plunder everything valuable they could find. The people of Kuai eventually learned to deal with this by running for their fucking lives every time these douchebags arrived, then hiding in the forest and watching while those guys stole their food and torched their houses for the eight hundredth goddamned time.
Monsopiad, a young man who was bigger, stronger, and more badass than any other motherfucker Borneo had ever seen, wasn't down with this.
The boy warrior went out into the rainforest, worked his balls off in a badass fucking training montage, prayed to the gods, and eventually derived his Ultimate Powers of Asskicking from a Bugang Bird, a cool-looking creature sacred to the animistic religion of Monsopiad's tribe. When this dude finally came crawling out of the woods covered in blood and dirt, jacked up and pissed off and ready for action, everyone was like, "Budaaaaaaaaang dude what the fuck?!"
Then Monsopiad procced to kill every single person who had ever wronged him or his tribe.
Carrying a 3-foot-long broadsword decorated with bones and human hair, and packing a 7-foot-long smoothbore blowpipe carved from a single chunk of wood, Monsopiad went on a vengeance ride to protect his village by killing basically every able-bodied man in a ten-mile radius. His blowpipe, carved by a master craftsman, fired poison darts treated with a toxic tree sap that had been wrapped in fireproof palm fronts and super-heated to the point where the toxin seeped out into the dart – a hit with one of these would cause an almost-instantaneous heart attack in the victim. If that didn't work, the massive blowpipe was chiseled at the tip like a bayonet and could be used as a spear at medium-range, and at close range his curved, machete-like Mandau sword was more than weapon enough to make any human being on earth piss themselves with tears of joy.
Monsopiad avenged his village, systematically hunted down every tribe that had ever pillaged them, and ensured the safety of his tribe by killing 42 enemy chiefs, cutting off their heads, and displaying them outside his house. He was also, by most accounts, and excellent dancer, hunter, and could drink enough rice wine and chili-powder-flavored pork barbecue to barf fire for a month.
After avenging his village, Monsopiad came home to a huge party, and everyone made him head war-chief presidente por vida etc. Monsopiad, however, was so hardcore in the whole killing people and beheading them thing that he just couldn't stop himself, and instead of chilling on top of piles of cooked pork and hot chicks he instead got so pumped he decided he was going to KILL EVERYONE EVER. This lop-aholic just started wiping out rival tribes, killing his own people, and massacring basically everyone with a neck. His people eventually decided, fuck it, this guy is cool and all but we gotta do something about this shit, so they Julius Caesared his ass in the middle of the night. Monsopiad woke up in bed in the middle of the night to like twenty guys jumping on top of him with knives. He fought hard, managed to kill a couple of them, but was eventually overpowered and executed beyond recognition. Because he was such a total badass, nobody could decide who deserved the honor of taking his head, so he ended up being one of the only Borneo Headhunter warriors to be buried with his head intact. Then the villagers named the town after him, and his grave is now a cultural village dedicated to Borneo warriors.
Borneo Headhunters continued being badass and chopping off skulls, all the way until the 20th century when most of them converted to Christianity and Islam, two religions that kind of frown on randomly decapitating people. This, of course, didn't stop them from capturing, killing, and beheading over 1,500 Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation of the island in World War II. It also didn't stop them from freaking out in 2001 over some immigration law and killing over 200 people with blowpipes and machetes. I think that regardless of our attitudes towards wanton murder, we can all agree this is hardcore.
The Pagan Tribes of Borneo
In Search of the Headhunting Tribes of Borneo
200 Killed by Blowpipe Tribesmen in Borneo
Monsopiad Cultural Village
Coppel, Charles A. Violent Conflicts in Indonesia. Routledge, 2005.
De Raedt, Jules, and Janet Hoskins. Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia. Stanford Univ. Press, 1996.
Malaysia – Brunei – Singapore. Hunter Publishing, 1997.