The Bodhisattva Collection

A Superb Indonesian Ebony Wood Legong Dancer Carving

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Sculpture: Pre 1980: Item # 1024009
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From our Southeast Asia Collection, a superb Indonesian ebony wood carving of a Legong dancer, expertly rendered capturing the marvelous grace and elegance of this traditional Balinese dance.

As Wikipedia describes it, "Legong is a form of Balinese dance. It is a refined dance form characterized by intricate finger movements, complicated footwork, and expressive gestures and facial expressions. Legong probably originated in the 19th century as royal entertainment. Legend has it that a prince of Sukwati fell ill and had a vivid dream in which two maidens danced to gamelan music. When he recovered, he arranged for such dances to be performed in reality. Others believe that the Legong originated with the sanghyang dedari, a ceremony involving voluntary possession of two little girls by beneficent spirits. Legong is also danced at public festivals, and excerpts from Legong dance dramas are put on for tourists."

For those unfamiliar with the differences between ebony wood and the other woods in the hardwood / rosewood family, ebony wood is especially dense and heavy and very difficult to carve, almost like sculpting in stone. So to achieve the realism and animation that the artist has achieved here in this medium is really quite extraordinary.

Size and Condition: 22 1/2 inches tall, 9 1/2 inches wide, 5 inches deep, weight about 14 pounds. Perfect condition.