Ɵ Batak magic staff, Tunggal Panaluan, Sumatra, Indonesia
Probably late 19th - early 20th century
Wood and cotton
H. 124 cm
Batak magic staff, Tunggal Panaluan, Sumatra, Indonesia
H. 483/4 in
- John Graham Collection
The Batak, like the neighbouring Karo and Toba, are one of the many ancient peoples living in the volcanic regions of North Sumatra around Lake Toba. They had a reputation as head hunters until the 19th century and the Dutch "conquest".
The two objects presented here, with the top of the cane, are dedicated to magical-religious practices and are the property of the Datu, priest and sorcerer.
All these canes present a succession of mythical creatures mixed with ancestral characters. Here, the harmonious and strong whole is covered with a black crusty patina.
Location of the item France - 75008 Paris