Lot: 25

97th Auction

Rice deity "bulul"

Philippines, Ifugao province, Lagawe

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Private Collection H: 23.6 inch 2500 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, ceramic, insect caused damage

"Bulul" are "charged" with magical power by priests, ceremonially sacrificed and placed in the rice stores to protect the harvest.

The "bulul" are primarily associated with the cultivation of rice. They are considered prestigious objects whose possession was largely reserved for the ruling class.

The carving of a "bulul" in itself involves an elaborate process. Festivities mark every stage, from the selection of the tree, cutting it down, arriving with the wood, and the first carving activities.

Several carvers work to complete the figure. A "mumbaki" recites the myth of the origin of the "bulul", and during this chant the "bulul" spirit in the myth is transferred to the figure, along with its powers and benefits. The "bulul" is then bathed in blood from sacrificed pigs. The entire progression takes about six weeks to complete.