Ancestor Figure

Leti Island, Indonesia
18th-19th Century
Previous Collection: Emile Deletaille obtained in exchange from the Dahlem Museum, Berlin; which states that this piece was collected in 1880 by Jacobson.

These small figurative carvings , are called iene; they were usually carved five days after a death, this is enough time for when the spirit would enter the iene. This example is extremely refined. The face is haunting; gazing directly into the spirit world. The highly elaborate coiffure suggests that this iene represents an important ancestor; as do the beautiful elongated earrings. The patina suggests that this piece was exposed to the elements of a cave for centuries. There is minute organic buildup on parts of the figure and the back of the piece is totally eroded inferring countless drops of water from the cave where it sat. A truly special example of Leti sculpture.

This figure stands 5 inches tall.
SOLD / IN 2-11-10