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Wooden Carved Ancestral Figure of Ironwood from Borneo (Mid-20th Century)


SKU 0898

Mid-20th Century ironwood carved ancestral male figure from Borneo. A broad-shouldered figure with male covering stands evenly balanced on both feet. His facial features are simply carved with long, prominent nose, pouting lips and eyes wide-open. A characterful, aged patina is found throughout. Upon request a video of the statue will be provided. The statue is in fair vintage condition commensurate with age and use.

As background, in this culture, ancestors are not vague, distant entities from a mythological past but rather extraordinary beings belonging to the here and now. The link between the living and the eternal spirits of the dead is an unending cycle of rituals that often re-enact those of the original founding couple of a village, clan or peoples whose lore is handed down orally from generation to generation. Ancestor statues hewn of wood and stone are not uncommon. Although sacred and held in great esteem, these effigies are not idols, but rather temporal 'sitting' places of ancestral spirits during periodic early visitations accompanied by grand feasts. In Borneo, their animistic folk religion states human life must be a balance and kept in harmony between man and spirits and between man and his natural environment. This is also the basic concept of the Balinese Hindu religion. (ref: Indonesian Tribal Art by Bruce W. Carptender, 2015). 

Dimensions (without stand):

H 51 cm / 20.1"

W 9.0 cm / 3.5"

D 4.5 cm / 1.8"