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Osa'osa seat
Other titles:
Nobleman's stone seat, osa osa
Place of origin
Cultural origin
central Nias
circa 19th century
Media category
Materials used

83.0 x 100.0 x 60.0 cm

Purchased with the assistance of Terry and Lynn Fern 2006
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Osa' osa seats are carved for use in important Niha feasts, including rites of passage celebrations and 'feasts of merit', which commemorate an individual's integration into society. An impressive product of Nias material culture, this osa' osa, provides a means through which we can begin to understand a fairly isolated region of Indonesia, which, having remained on the periphery of the great external influences, developed distinct social practices and preserved these indigenous ways into recent times.

In addition to their cultural import, osa' osa seats are admired for their imaginative design and craftsmanship. As is typical of osa' osas, this seat is zoomorphic, with the head of the protective, mythical beast lasara, and a stylised, upright tail, possibly of a bird. As the only embellishment, a 'kalabubu', a traditional piece of ceremonial Niha jewellery worn by men as a symbol of valour and victory in warfare, decorates the beast's neck.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, December 2006.

Bibliography (2)

Nomadic Rug Traders (Editor), Newsletter, Sydney, 2006, 3 (colour illus.).

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'The Asian Collection', pg. 12-13, Newtown, Mar 2009, 13 (colour illus.). This work is in the foreground of the image on page 13.

Exhibition history (1)

The Arts of Island Indonesia, Nomadic Rug Traders, Pyrmont, 12 Nov 2006 -