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Title

Osa'osa seat

circa 19th century


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

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.


Details


Other Title

Nobleman's stone seat, osa osa


Place where the work was made

Indonesia


Cultural origin

central Nias


Date

circa 19th century


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

stone


Dimensions

83.0 x 100.0 x 60.0 cm


Credit

Purchased with the assistance of Terry and Lynn Fern 2006


Location

Not on display


Accession number

364.2006



Place

Where the work was made
Indonesia

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


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

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