X87.8 Decorative panel for chief’s doorway

<< Back

 

Object Name: Decorative panel for chief’s doorway

Artist: Unknown

Culture: Bahau peoples

Place of Origin: Mahakam River, East Kalimantan [Borneo], Indonesia

Date/Era: 19th century

Medium/Materials: Wood

Dimensions: H: 95cm

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

Accession Number: X87.8

Description

This sculpture once flanked a doorway belonging to a chief-either at the front of his apartment within the longhouse or perhaps at a storage area for rice or other valuables. The figure at the top is an aso’, which literally means ”dog” but is actually a euphemism for a female dragon, a symbol of the watery underworld. This is one of the most commonly depicted forms in the arts of Borneo, which, when paired with symbols of the upperworld, expresses the dual nature of the cosmos.

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

preloader