Amulet, sincan

East Borneo
Pasir Dayak
18 × 7 × 5 cm
Price: CHF 800.-
Inv. BO.12.064

Anthropomorphic amulet, representing a male figure holding his hands on his lap. These figures have an apotropaic function and, in particular, they are used to protect from the evil eye and nefarious spirits. Also, they are traditionally used by women, who place them near their sleeping mats from the third month of pregnancy and keep them there until the new-born is three months’ old.

The amulets from Borneo have become renowned through publications such as Hampatongs and The Divine Gifts. This amulet presents stylistic features similar to some of those documented in these two volumes, yet they differ in some details pertaining to the local style, such as the surprising hands with three pointy fingers, which recall the nearby Bahau and Modang. This is a magnificent piece, which, in its essence, reveals the invisible magical world from which it issues, and evokes the oneiric experience that is often the origin of Dayak representations.

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