Vintage and Antique Tribal Art and Artifacts from The Americas.
A fine wooden Dayak male charm figure

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All Items: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1920: item # 1101401

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A fine wooden Dayak male charm figure
This well-carved miniature comes from the people from "upstream", otherwise known as the Dayak of inland Borneo. Similar wooden sculptures are found among the Tunjung group located in the east central region of the island. The purpose of this figure is clear - it was once attached to a double-cross necklace or belt worn by a shaman across his upper torso, as evidenced by the pierced tab at the bottom used for securing the figure to the cord. Such figures, attached in groups, are thought to be effective in exorcisms. The somewhat threatening pose of this charm figure grasping its extended tongue and exposing its phallus can be found on larger guardian figures which are placed around the area of a shrine. Measuring 6" in height, the carving exhibits a very fine, deep, blackened patina from decades of use. It is probably late 19th or very early 20th century. Provenance: Israeli private collection.

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