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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
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Ancestor Figure, Adu zatua

North Nias, Indonesia
19th Century

Provenance: Loed Van bussel collection, Amsterdam.
These sculptures represent the founding ancestors of important lineages in Nias society. Playing a vital role in daily life, the sculptures would have been present in each noble household, serving as a supernatural protector of the home. This example is an early rendition suggested by its archaic style. Depicted in a standing position and grasping a cup with both hands, the figure is adorned with a tall and elegant crown, a marker of its noble status, which would have been worn during major festivals. The varied patina is dark and encrusted; the lighter patinated areas on the figure are where trade cloth was originally wrapped around it.

Ancestor Figure, Adu zatua

North Nias, Indonesia
19th Century

Provenance: Loed Van bussel collection, Amsterdam.
These sculptures represent the founding ancestors of important lineages in Nias society. Playing a vital role in daily life, the sculptures would have been present in each noble household, serving as a supernatural protector of the home. This example is an early rendition suggested by its archaic style. Depicted in a standing position and grasping a cup with both hands, the figure is adorned with a tall and elegant crown, a marker of its noble status, which would have been worn during major festivals. The varied patina is dark and encrusted; the lighter patinated areas on the figure are where trade cloth was originally wrapped around it.