Southeast Asia, Borneo, Central Kalimantan, Ngaju Dayak, ca. late 19th century to early 20th century CE. A hand carved wooden standing shaman's charm figure created by the indigenous Ngaju Dayak of Borneo. The figure presents a characteristically enlarged head with boldly, abstract features including large coffee bean shaped eyes, a triangular nose, and long closed lips upturned at the ends so as to present a smile. The arms cross the torso diagonally with intriguing hand gestures, as while the right hand points downward, the left points upward. This gesture represents the fact that this figure was intended to serve as a link between the earthly world and the celestial realm. Given the rich patina, this piece was handled quite a bit and most likely carried strong symbolic value. A perforation through the base for suspension. Custom, museum quality stand. Size: 1" W x 4" H (2.5 cm x 10.2 cm)
Provenance: Ex-private collection of Ami Brown. Mr. Brown was the owner of the Coca Cola franchise in Israel and amassed a huge and very fine collection of Indonesian Kris's as well as other ethnographic and tribal arts. His collection numbered more than 3000 pieces with many on display during his life in the Ein Harod Museum of Art.
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