Borneo (Kalimantan) - Dayak people / Old wooden ritual calendar / Mid 20th century

20th century
Tribal Art
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Old wooden ritual calendar.
Rectangular in shape of dense exotic wood, it was used by the Dayak Ngaju ethnic group living in the center of the island of Borneo (Kalimantan). One of the two faces presents at its top a naked figure, full face, legs and arms bent, palms of the hands turned outwards. It rests on a sphere, certainly the representation of the solar star, to be contrasted with the crescent moon located at the base of the planchette. Two circles take place between the two representations of the stars, each cut into eight quarters. The first is engraved with apotropaic symbols, the second accommodating sacred zoomorphic representations evoking air, earth and water.
The opposite side consists of the calendar itself and is embellished in its upper part with a series of ten horizontal lines punctuated with dots, the lower part being engraved with a series of thirty-five small squares engraved with motifs. These indicate whether the day is favorable to go hunting or to undertake an expedition, for example, the squares marked with a cross clearly indicating that the date is not favorable.

Base piece.

Without base: 24.2 x 7.6 cm
Condition: Beautiful shiny patina
Provenance: Former private American collection


Style Tribal Art
Century 20th century
Materials Wood
Shipping Time Ready to ship in 1 Business Day
Location 38090, Villefontaine, France

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