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Dayak Baby Carrier

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Dayak Baby Carrier from Kalimantan, Borneo
41 x 36 cm (16 x 14 inches)

 

Intricately carved from a single piece of heavy ironwood, denoting high status in the Dayak tribe of Kalimantan, Borneo, this baby carrier depicts 2 protective underworld figures (inset with shell eyes) believed to keep malevolent spirits away from the child.  At the top of the carrier a string of glass beads are ornamented with charms – 4 small bronze bells and 2 wild boar tusks, to warn the mother of approaching danger.  The shoulder straps are made from plaited horse hair.

 

This is a nice fairly-modern example of a traditional Dayak baby carrier in perfect condition and dating from the middle of the 20th Century.  It was purchased in 1988 from an antique shop in Sanur, Bali.

 

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