Antique Modang statue from Kalimantan Timur
A SYMBOL OF PROTECTION
This sculpture is part of 3 very special pieces from the Kutai Regency of Kalimantan Timur. It dates back to the mid 1800's and is made in Ulin wood, created as a symbol of protection.
Modang are culturally related groups living in Kutai along the Mahakam River, known for their skill in wood carving, mat making, basketry, bead work and iron forging. Modang villages showcase their tradition of art with intricate motifs of spirits, animals, ornamental designs and painted murals. Their ritual life is extremely rich, with the yearly cycle divided into two main phases: Edat na' plaè - the Custom of Rice, and Na'pli' - to do the sacred, each comprised of many different rituals.
Transition rites like births, namings, marriages and funerals are carried out by ritual specialists, who are also spirit mediums. Like most of central Bornean peoples, their social structure is divided into four main ranks: chief, aristocrats, commoners, and slaves.
Dimensions: 83 x 18 x 18cm with the metal support