Panneau fétiche "jaraik"
Indonésie - Sumatra occidental, Îles Mentawai
|collected in situ (1970s)||
B: 60 cm;
H: 34 cm
wood, blackish brown patina, plant fibres, open-worked carving with two monkey skulls in the centre, slightly dam., abrasion of paint, base. The carving can be interpreted as a stylized tree of life, a common motif found in various parts of Indonesia. "Jaraik" fetish panels were hung above the entrance to the second inner room of the "uma" long house. It was necessary to carve and perform the rituals associated with its installation each time a new "uma" was built. After careful carving from the wood of the "gite" tree, the panel is painted and fetish material and plant fibres are attached. A ritual hunt for a male monkey would be mounted. After killing it, the skull would be cleaned and attached to the "jaraik" and its meat collectively eaten in a special ceremony that would conclude with the consecration and hanging of the "jaraik". The function of the "jaraik" is twofold - to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent and favourable ones.