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19th century-20th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Places where the work was made
    Kalimantan Borneo Indonesia
    Sarawak Borneo Malaysia
    19th century-20th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    6.5 x 8.0 x 1.8 cm
    Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Small carvings in the form of human figures, demonic creatures and animals in contorted positions are found throughout the numerous Dayak communities of Borneo. Often made by a shamanic priest, these talismanic charms are kept within the family apartments of communal longhouses, attached to baby carriers and cribs, or worn by individuals on necklaces and belts. In an environment where great dangers are posed by both the natural and supernatural world, amulets provide the living with protection against harm, illness and other calamities. While some were intended to scare off evil forces, others alluded to concepts and legends associated with the Dayak universe. This charm depicting three entwined humanoid figures may have been worn by a shaman, strung onto a necklace or belt incorporating other valuable and powerful charms, beads, animal teeth, claws and bones.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

  • Provenance

    Caspian Gallery, circa 1997, Paddington/Sydney/New South Wales/Australia

    Mariann Ford, circa 1997-2010, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, acquired from Caspian Gallery (art dealership). Gift to the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010.