| Funerary figure of a nobleman

Bidayuh people
Landak, west Kalimantan, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia
 

Funerary figure of a nobleman early-mid 19th century
wood, cotton, shell
74.0 (h) x 77.0 (w) x 12.0 (d) cm
KIT Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam

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This stark anthropomorphic funerary figure, with outstretched arms and eyes of inlaid cowry shells, was created by the Bidayuh people of Borneo to honour and protect the soul of a deceased nobleman. The figure’s pose echoes the stance of Bidayuh shamans who, in a state of trance, perform ritual dances to appease spirit deities. Figures of this type may be clothed and adorned with jewellery and weapons befitting the status of the dead person.




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