Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Batak Talsimanic


Material: Bamboo
Region: Lake Toba
Dimensions: C. 13 inches

A pair of carved bamboo tubes from the Lake Toba Batak people of Sumatra, Indonesia. Rings made of water buffalo horn are inlaid into the top and bottom edge of each tube. Elaborate, fine, classic Batak etchings decorate the tubes. One cylinder features a twin centipede motif and a calendar. The other has a depiction of a large stylized scorpion, a gecko - lizard, and two centipedes. These creatures feature prominently in the Batak shaman's traditions and are featured on storage tubes for their talismanic - protective attributes. Ritual symbols and combinations of marks cover the surface of the bamboo, making these genuine Batak - crafted pieces wonderful objects for examination and contemplation.

1 comment:

Dean said...

the one on the right looks like a Toba Batak calendar I have, a pair of cylinders but much plainer than this, no fancy decoration or horn rings, just the calendar grid and writing on the other. Wish I knew more about it. Even the Batak man who gave it to me could not say much, seems like only a few still know how to interpret them