Guardian, Pangulubalang
Toba, Batak, Sumatra Indonesia
Early 20th Century
Provenance: White Fathers Mission, Netherlands. Old Dutch Collection.

Guardian figures, also known as Pangulubalang, were owned by villages and believed 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. The square head is large in proportion to the rest of its body. The base of this figure is hand-hewn and may once have been attached to an architectural element.

Height: 9 inches
IN 10-1-16 / SOLD


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