Magic staff

This black, wooden 'magic' staff has an intricately carved standing figure with a buffalo horn on the head. There are six such figures that stand atop one another in a successive row. Such a staff would have been used by a shaman in the Batak society.The Batak are a number of ethnic groups found in the highlands of north Sumatra, Indonesia. The magic staff is the most important object owned by the shaman in the Batak society. These staff were used to ward off evil spirits as well as an aid to promote healing, locate lost objects and affect the weather.

Date/Period
19th century
Region
Toba, Sumatra
Dimension
Object size: 174 cm
Accession No.
XXXX-03708
Material
WOOD
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of P. Pohlig, 1911
Category
Woodcarving