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Indonesian Ancestor Figures

 

Most of the ancestor figures in our collection are carved representations of actual people who have passed away.  Their likeness to the individual is captured as much by their physique and posture as by their facial features.  Most were probably carved by a close family member rather than a village artisan, and are therefore stylistically naïve or have a primitive feel to them.  All have a sense of natural dignity and integrity about them…and some feel quite magical!

 

Ancestor figures not only represent particular deceased family members but also serve as receptacles for their spirits when summoned during rituals to honour them.  It is believed that deceased ancestors are able to mediate with the supernatural world on behalf of living descendants, and are able to support and guide them in matters of health, love and success.   Some of the more refined ancestor carvings listed here, the pairs with offers invited, may be symbolic or generic ancestor-types carved for household shrines and ceremonial use...and may, or may not, represent specific individuals.

 

Most of the ancestor figures listed here were personally collected at source on the Indonesian island of origin…often from local traders and antique dealers who acquired them from villagers.  There are many reasons why these ancestor carvings might have been abandoned or sold including renewal, the extinction of a family line, transmigration and the decline of cultural traditions, or simply that more modern forms of representation have become fashionable.

 

We have been collecting Indonesian wooden ancestor figures for over 25 years…but enough is enough!  And as we draw closer to our own ancestors it’s time to refine the collection and limit ourselves to those we have space to display!  They look wonderful displayed as a group.

 


 

Afterthought: If these carved figures were once, and perhaps still are, the repositories for ancestral spirits, then collecting abandoned ancestor figures is strangely akin to gathering up and safely re-homing orphans.  How nice!

 


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Rare Cotton Gin with Ancestor or Guardian Figures
Rare Timor Cotton Gin with Ancestor or Guardian Figures30h x 43w x 8cm (12 x 17 x 3 inches)   This..
£585.00
Male and Female Corn-Eating Guardian Figures - Offers Invited
Male and Female Corn-Eating Guardian Figures21 x 11 x 7cm (8 x 4.5 x 3 inches)   An interesting an..
£0.00
Superb 19th Century Timor Female Ancestor Figure
19th Century Female Ancestor Figure 27 cm (10.5 inches)   A superbly carved 19th century nude fema..
£495.00
Ebony Male Ancestor from Lombok
Ebony Male Ancestor Figure from Lombok  19cm (7.5 inches)   An old ancestor or guardian figure fro..
£175.00
Timor Standing Female Ancestor Figure 21 cm (8.5 inches)
Timor Standing Female Ancestor Figure 21 cm (8.5 inches)   A standing nude female ancestor or guar..
£140.00
Pregnant Fertility or Ancestor Figure
Pregnant Fertility or Ancestor Figure (23cm/9 inches)   A boldly carved and heavily pregnant ferti..
£120.00
Sumba Double-Sided Ancestor Figure
Sumba Double-Sided Ancestor Figure21.5 cm (8.5 inches)   An extremely unusual double-sided sitting..
£140.00
Leti Male Ancestor Figure
Leti Male Ancestor Figure 22 cm (8.5 inches)   An interesting old ancestor figure from Easter..
£190.00
Pair of Sumban Seated Ancestor Figures
Pair of Sumban Seated Ancestor Figures23 cm (9 inches)   A pair of seated ancestor figures from th..
£195.00
Sleeping Timor Male Ancestor Figure
Sleeping Timor Male Ancestor Figure8.5 cm (3.5 inches)   A small male ancestor figure sitting on h..
£95.00
Timor Female Fertility or Ancestor Figure
Timor Female Fertility or Ancestor Figure 20 cm (8 inches)   This is a curvaceous nude female fert..
£175.00
Timor Male Ancestor Figure 25 cm (10.5 inches)
Timor Nude Male Ancestor Figure25 cm (10.5 inches)   This is a superbly carved nude male ancestor ..
£225.00
Male Ancestor Figure 19cm (7.5 inches)
Seated Male Ancestor Figure19 cm (7.5 inches)   A seated male ancestor or guardian figure from the..
£145.00
Male Ancestor Figure from Sumba
Sumba Male Ancestor Figure14 cm (5.5 inches)   This is a male ancestor or guardian figure from the..
£125.00
Batak Seated Guardian or Ancestor Figures - Offers Invited
A Pair of Batak Seated Guardian or Ancestor Figures29 x 13 x 7 cm (11.5 x 5 x 3 inches)   A superb..
£0.00