Thus my devising of the Kamao or “fist.” So called because it usually has five members, and can operate as an autonomous striking force, the Kamao is made up of a Bagani, a mature householding Orang Dakila warrior, plus his Orang Malaya (freemen) and sometimes Orang Dukha (slave) followers. Every Kamao consists of:
- A Bagani warrior, armed with shield, spear and blade, and possibly armored;
- A shieldbearer, often a slave, who carries a large woven rattan shield and javelins in battle and acts as paddler and camp servant;
- Two or more Orang Malaya followers, armed with shield, spear and blade, but very rarely armored. In battle they act as the leader’s flank and rear guards, and as paddlers.
(At minimum, a Kamao should consist of a shieldbearer and two spearmen.)
- Possibly one or more junior Orang Dakila warriors, sometimes members of the Bagani’s family.
- Possibly one or more hunters, who serve as archers and scouts.
On land, each Kamao can function as a self-contained fighting team for raids and jungle warfare. In pitched battles and defense, however, the Kamao becomes the basis of the Vijadesan battle formation. Sound familiar? It should – this is really an adaptation of the Medieval European knight’s “lance”.
(Next post: Vijadesan Battles!)