mjx1: Interior House Ladder.
Kontu Dayak. West Kalimantan, Borneo Island, Indonesia.
Hardwood. H: 108" (274 cm), W: 16" (41 cm). 19th century.
Unlike the more common and taller longhouse entry ladders, this rare example was kept in the interior of a noble family's residence and was used to gain access to
the storage areas above the living quarters. Those using the ladder would step over the image of a "decapitated slave" or "ritual sacrifice" (meant to appease the spirits),
shown carved in relief at the base, then climb up to the awaiting arms of a powerful ancestral figure, who is "holding" the ladder steady.
The surface is worn smooth from decades of use, with a warm brownish patina.

Additional images available on request.

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