Lot: 12

Buffalo head door

Indonesia - Sulawesi, Toraja

Provenance Size Hammer price
German Private Collection, Berlin M: 21.1 inch x 20.1 inch sold

wood, traces of weathering, cracks, base These hardwood doors were used to seal burial caves, as the Toraja used to carve into the rocks for the mortal remains of their deceased. The motif of the water buffalo symbolizes virility and suggests wealth and status for the Toraja. It is used universally, and appears in a more or less stylized form even on the doors of granaries or houses.

Barbier, Jean Paul & Douglas Newton (ed.), Islands and Ancestors, Munich 1988, pl. 34