Lot: 103

97th Auction

Rare ancestor figure

Indonesia - Moluccas - Babar Island

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Piet Lepelaar, Leiden, The Netherlands H: 8.1 inch This object is not available anymore.

heavy wood, black paint, old handwritten collection label: "afgods beeldje Babar eilanden ...", rest.

The Moluccas are an Indonesian archipelago between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Administratively, the archipelago is divided into two provinces, Maluku (Southern Moluccas) and Maluku Utara (Northern Moluccas), known as the Spice Islands.

Presently, Southern Maluku is grouped into three sub-districts: the Babar Islands in the East, Leti, Moa, and Lakor in the center and the Southernmost Islands in the West (Kisar, Wetar, Roma and Damar), in addition to the archipelagos of Kai and Tanimbar further to the East.

Many of these islands share similar cultural traits and practices. Their anthropomorphic figures in wood represent the different levels of ancestral spirits - from the great deified creators of the mortal domain, to the founding ancestors of the particular clan or lineage.