A Superb Old Ancestor Figure Aitos Area East Timor 19th Century
A Superb Old Ancestor Figure Aitos Area East Timor Dating from the 19th Century
The fine old Ancestor Figure is from the Aitos Area of East Timor in SE Asia. This distinct style of the Aitos figures area is part of a larger corpus of Ancestor Worship and Art stretching all the way through SE Asia and the Indonesian archipelago and into the island of New Guinea.
Ancestor posts like these played a significant role in rituals that honored ancestral spirits who presided over the land and instructed the Tetum people on all areas of daily life; the raising of cattle, agriculture, hunting & fishing, and architecture.
The ancestors are made visible by these carved figures who pass on the traditions to the living. They also watch over their descendants to ensure that their customs are carefully followed and punish those who fail to conform to the ancient traditions. Offerings to ancestral spirits were placed on stone slabs near the ancestral figures or on the actual figures sometimes adorning them with textiles or traditional ornaments.
Provenance: Daeng Iskander Collection Indonesia, Old Australian Collection. The Todd Barlin Collection of Indonesian Art
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