Handcarved in the highlands of central West Timor this well carved female ancestor figure has been finished using young teak leaves as sandpaper and is featured carrying a pot on her head. She is covering her genitals and the large base sports a snake motif.
red cedarwood/kiyu merah
29cm tall x 11cm dia
11.5" tall x 4.5" dia
Timor has a long tradition of carving ancestor or guardian figures for various functions. One is to protect those still earthbound within the family and another is to use as a "photograph" to tell stories of the person to descendants. Fetish and fertility statues have their place in the society and are used by the Dukun or village Shaman to bring about auspicious circumstances for women and crops. Totem poles and offering platforms are still be be found dotted throughout the kampongs in the highlands.
Staying true to their Animist past many Timorese/Atoni from the central highlands of West Timor create images that reflect the nature in the material (world). Still carved today using little more than a machete and a penknife by those who continue the carving tradition.
Even today Timorese crafts people continue to create uninfluenced culturally appropriate works of art and soul.
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