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SKU: S256 Category:


S256    This is one very special carving. Hewn by hand using the simplest of tools in the village of Besikama near the border in the highlands of West Timor.  Besikama is one of the few Matriarchal enclaves in Timor and it is still active today.

This ancestor figure sat sentinel in the yard of its host family. Guarding over the realm of the living and providing a bridge to that of the dead. Depicted as a playful monkey spirit, this is a female guardian ancestor. She has a large belly and is squatted wearing a crown or head piece, with her hands on her shins indicating the time of day when we sit and discuss the stuff of life.

She has a white painted symbol on her belly and a name written down her left arm. It is possible that this has been done to provide proof of ownership. Part of the back has eroded with time and weather. She is in excellent condition and presents beautifully.

These truly old pieces are rare and very hard to find in the field. Estimated age 180 years. Timber unknown.

91cm tall x 30cm dia.

36″ tall x 12″ dia.


Timor has a long tradition of carving ancestor or guardian figures for various functions. One is to protect those still earthbound within the family and another is to use as a “photograph” to tell stories of the person to descendants. Fetish and fertility statues have their place in the society and are used by the Dukun or village Shaman to bring about auspicious circumstances for women and crops. Totem poles and offering platforms are still be be found dotted throughout the kampongs in the highlands.

Still carved today using little more than a machete and a penknife by those who continue the carving tradition. For more detailed information about Timor and I please go to www.timortreasures.com/julie  .

Please email us for freight cost to your destination.

Additional images available upon request.


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