X74.L360 Priest’s staff (tunggal panaluan)

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Object Name: Priest’s staff (tunggal panaluan)

Artist: Unknown

Culture: Batak peoples

Place of Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia

Date/Era: 19th to early 20th century

Medium/Materials: Wood, feathers, cotton cloth, hair

Dimensions: H: 180 cm

Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Miguel Covarrubias Collection.

Accession Number: X74.L360

Staffs are among the most important of a wide variety of paraphernalia used by Toba Batak priests (datu) to establish contact with the spirit world. The power of the staff is embodied in a substance called pukpuk (literally, ”fertilizer”), inserted in the wrappings on the head of the top figure.

Source: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.

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