Toba Batak people
north Sumatra, Indonesia
Priest's container for magic potions
buffalo horn, wood, iron, plant fibre
33.0 (h) x 53.0 (w) x 12.0 (d) cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Batak priests [datu] use magic instruments and potions to harness and influence powerful spirits. Special containers are created to store their mysterious medicines. The stopper of this water buffalo horn vessel is in the form of a singa—a mythical chimera of lion, reptile, human, horse and water buffalo. A fierce protective creature, the singa is often associated with the datu.