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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
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Guardian, Pangulubalang

Toba, Batak, Sumatra Indonesia
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Collected by John Barker, in the 1980’s

Guardian figures, also known as Pangulubalang, were owned by villages and were created to protect against disease, enemies, and malevolent magic. Believed to embody the spirits of slain enemies, killed in order to acquire their supernatural power. Ritual libations were offered and poured over the figure to bring forth its power, resulting in this example’s encrusted patina. This figure is depicted squatting, holding its knees close to its body.

Guardian, Pangulubalang

Toba, Batak, Sumatra Indonesia
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Collected by John Barker, in the 1980’s

Guardian figures, also known as Pangulubalang, were owned by villages and were created to protect against disease, enemies, and malevolent magic. Believed to embody the spirits of slain enemies, killed in order to acquire their supernatural power. Ritual libations were offered and poured over the figure to bring forth its power, resulting in this example’s encrusted patina. This figure is depicted squatting, holding its knees close to its body.

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