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19th C. Indonesian Flores Island Stone Ancestral Figure

Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Flores Island, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A wonderful figural marker, hand-carved from dark-brown tuff stone with light inclusions, depicting an abstract anthropomorphic ancestor. The figure is composed of a sturdy rectangular base with a wide torso, projecting semicircular shoulders which droop inwards to a thick neck, and a bulbous head. The domed head boasts a stylized visage defined by closed globular eyes, a prominent nose with drilled nostrils, cupped ears, gaunt cheeks, and pursed lips. Stone figures like this example are traditionally placed in front of the homes of prominent village families and would represent a distinguished ancestor to denote the wealth and status of their living family members. This figure also symbolically "wears" a piece of jewelry called a "taka," an additional symbol of the family's status amongst the other villagers. A superb example replete with deep symbolism and sophisticated form. Size: 5" L x 12.75" W x 20.875" H (12.7 cm x 32.4 cm x 53 cm).

Condition: Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age and use, small losses to base, head, chest, and verso, with minor fading to some finer features, and light encrustations. Nice earthen deposits throughout.

Provenance: private Johnson collection, Los Angeles, California, USA; ex-private collection of an American expatriate living in Jakarta, Indonesia, acquired around 40 years ago

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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