Southeast Asian and early Chinese ceramics by Abhaya Asian ArtAbhaya Asian Antiques
Penan rattan mat

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Baskets: Pre 1920: item # 578987

Please refer to our stock # 1383 when inquiring.

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Abhaya Asian Antiques
G/F, North Flat, Lot 965 Peak Road West
Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Tel/Fax 852-29847509

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Penan rattan mat

Rare and unique large Penan rattan mat with human headed snake spirit motif. This piece was sourced from an Iban longhouse in Kampong Yamok, Kapit District, Sarawak. The pattern is distinctly Penan suggesting that it was either a barter item or that the original owner, an Iban man had a Penan wife. This piece had been in the family for 4 generations and I was told it is well over 100 years old but I would date it to around 80 years old as being more realistic and will guarantee as such. This kind of mat would not have been used for daily use or sat upon but would be hung up for oracle ceremonies. The human head snake spirit is considered very important among the Penan. The viewer is invited to observe, in the enlargements, the sophisticated composition of the design especially the the relatively disproportionate features on the spirits and pattern giving it a three dimensional perspective. Excellent condition with one small section of frayed edge noted in enlargements. Of course my opinion is subjective but I consider this piece a masterwork of ethnic art. L: 2.1m/7.4ft and W: 1.3m/4.3ft. Please do a Google search on the Penan (sometimes spelled Punan) for more insight on the history and current situation of these important and nomadic people.

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