X85.1076 Baby carrier (ba’)

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Object Name: Baby carrier (ba’)

Artist: Unknown

Culture: Bahau Dayak peoples

Place of Origin: East Kalimantan [Borneo], Indonesia

Date/Era: Mid-20th century

Medium/Materials: Wood, shell, plant fiber

Dimensions: H: 31.2 cm, W: 44.3 cm, D: 15.0 cm (H: 12.2 in, W: 17.4 in, D: 5.9 in)

Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

Accession Number: X85.1076


Mothers on the island of Borneo carry their infants on their backs using this type of carrier. The decorations are intended to protect infants from harm. This carrier bears the face of an udok, an underworld creature with the power to keep evil spirits at bay.

Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.

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