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A Fine Dayak Medicine Container & stopper Borneo Indonesia

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Collection No. T-4653
Size Height 16cm without stand
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A Fine Dayak Medicine Container & Stopper Borneo Indonesia.  We specialize in the rare & beautiful antique arts of the Dayak Peoples of Borneo 

This beautiful small Medicine Gourd with carved Stopper in the form of an Aso mythical animal from the Dayak people on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.  Dating from the early to mid-20th Century.  I had recently seen a similar Medicine Gourd in a Museum collection that had good information about this type of Medicine Container. I will try to find it again & update this information.  The Dayak carve superb small-scale artworks like this container & Amulets & Charm Figures ( I have a collection of these that I will one day sell as a collection.

The Dallas Fine Art Museum with a superb Indonesian Art Collection describes the Aso mythical animal :

” A prominent and widespread theme of the art of Borneo is a mythical animal that combines attributes of the dog and dragon in a single creature called aso. This animal signifies protection and status, and the use of the image is traditionally restricted to the upper class. The animals’ notched tails indicate that the objects functioned as supports for a horizontal member that together comprised either a low table or bench. The dogs, two of an original group of four sculptures, would have faced outward at the corners, their tails supporting the horizontal member with pegs or dowels. In Kayan culture, low tables were the prerogative of the elite. The tables are said to commemorate the prowess of the Kayan warrior and they functioned to receive ritual offerings. ”

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection Of Dayak & Indonesian Art



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