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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
+1 917 733 9589

Ancestor Figure

North Nias, Indonesia
19th century

Provenance: An American Collection

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 an elaborate crown, a marker of its noble status, which would have been worn during major festivals.  The surface is heavily encrusted, indicating it was displayed for many decades near the upper rafters of the home; exposed to the smoke and soot emanating from the hearth.

Ancestor Figure

North Nias, Indonesia
19th century

Provenance: An American Collection

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 an elaborate crown, a marker of its noble status, which would have been worn during major festivals.  The surface is heavily encrusted, indicating it was displayed for many decades near the upper rafters of the home; exposed to the smoke and soot emanating from the hearth.

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