Iban Dayak, Sarawak, west Borneo
Early 20th century
Provenance: Margret Wells, Boston, MA. Published: Squatting Figures of Borneo, Orientations, January 1981, pg. 42. Pig trap amulets, or Tun tuns, were thought to magically strengthen traps used in hunting. The long stick would be pounded into the ground, and mark the height of the traps release mechanism. This is a classic example. The figure sits atop of the stick, in a crouched position, with elbows resting upon the knees, chin resting upon the hands, and an expressive face and aggressive mouth. The figure is finely carved, utilizing positive and negative space. A fish tail design pattern is incised across the square base the figure sits upon.