Hampatong post with tiger guardian figure

Large figural sculptures such as this were often placed outside of the Dayak longhouse. Known as hampatong these were believed to protect the village and frighten away malicious spirits and ghosts. Often hampatong were carved in the form of deceased ancestors, particularly warriors and respected elders, though animal hampatong like this one were also carved. This one is in the form of a tiger, one of the most fearsome creatures in the forests of Borneo, an animal not to be trifled with.

Date/Period
19th century
Region
Central Kalimantan, Borneo
Dimension
Object size: 226.0 x 36.0 x 87.8 cm
Accession No.
2015-00477
Material
Ironwood
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Woodcarving