Guardian figure

This ‘hampatong’ comes from the Ngaju people of West Borneo. It is generally believed by Dayaks to be a guardian figure, however, its function differed from village to village; it could be made to protect the village from malicious spirits and epidemics, represent a servant to the dead in the underworld, or even a deceased ancestor. It could even commemorate the taking of an enemy head in warfare.

Date/Period
19th century
Region
West Borneo
Dimension
Object size: 253 x 38 cm
Accession No.
1995-02423
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andy Ng
Category
Woodcarving