Toba Batak. Sumatra Island, Indonesia.
Hard wood, fabric, plant leaves. H: 28.25 - 28.5" (71.7 - 72.4 cm). 19th to early 20th century.
Like "Pagar" and "Pangulubalang" statues, this large pair of male-female statues were used by the Toba Batak people to protect the inhabitants of the clan aganist sorcery
and malevolent spirits. The figures were hung from the rafters of a clan house. They have been invested wtih "Pupuk", a magical empowering substance placed in slots
carved into the chest. The extended arms have been described as a dance pose and their elevated position (in the roof), was associated with the upper
world and the ancestors. Pairs of apotropaic statues are rare among the Batak, as in most cases male-female pairs are associated with the original clan founders.
Ex-collecton: Anthony Granucci.
Additional photos available. One age crack on the side of the figure on left.
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