Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Borneo, Indonesia

Borneo, home of the Dayak tribes is one of the largest islands in Indonesia, and is of volcanic origin. Their ancient belief system, like that across most of Indonesia, is Animistic – the belief that they are descendants of a bird/dragon/serpent. This is visually represented by the pervasive motifs in their art. Shaman are intrinsic to Dayak religion. They bring together the spirit world, the mortal world, and the underworld and thus serve to maintain the balance of life, protecting the community, and healing the sick. Although the Dayak are a peace loving people, they were historically feared by outsiders for their little understood practice of headhunting. In reality, a head is taken only after death during war, and is taken out of respect for the spirit.

'Lupong Manang' Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Charm Figures (rare), East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe. Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood, braided reed, feathers. The Shaman made his own medicine kit to contain items for healing, protections and predictions – such as special teeth, stones and other items. The figures on the exterior correspond to illnesses and other conditions or ailments. 17 ½” x 13” x 13”, $4800.
‘Lupong Manang’ Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Charm Figures (rare), East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe. Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood, braided reed, feathers

The Shaman makes his own traveling medicine kit. It would typically contain items for healing, protections and predictions – such as special teeth, stones, herbs and other magical items. The figures on the exterior correspond to illnesses and other conditions or ailments. 17 ½” x 13” x 13”, $4800. SOLD

Shaman Figure with Cap, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe Early 20th c, Ironwood. Used for healing rituals. 13” x ¾” x 8” x 6”, $390.
Shaman Figure with Cap, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe Early 20th c, Ironwood

Used in healing rituals. 13” x ¾” x 8” x 6”, $390.

Shaman Healing Amulet, Necklace, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Mid 19th to early 20th c, Root wood pigmented with soot, shell, animal teeth, cloth pouches, glass beads, disk beads, patinated with age and use. Used for healing rituals. The amulets correspond to various illnesses and conditions. 26” x 8” x 2 ½”, $2400.
Shaman Healing Amulet, Necklace, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Mid 19th to early 20th c, Root wood pigmented with soot, shell, animal teeth, cloth pouches, glass beads, disk beads, patinated with age and use

Used for healing rituals. The amulets correspond to various illnesses and conditions. 26” x 8” x 2 ½”, $2400. (see image below for detail)

Shaman Healing Amulet, Necklace, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Mid 19th to early 20th c, Root wood pigmented with soot, shell, animal teeth, cloth pouches, glass beads, disk beads, patinated with age and use. Used for healing rituals. The amulets correspond to various illnesses and conditions. 26” x 8” x 2 ½”, $2400. (see previous image for necklace as worn)
Detail View of Shaman Healing Amulet, Necklace (see previous image)
Shaman Healing Fetish, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, pigmented with soot, patinated with age and use. For healing rituals. 6 ½” x 13” x 10”, $250.
Shaman Healing Fetish, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, pigmented with soot

For healing rituals. 6 ½” x 13” x 10”, $250.

Shaman’s Amulet/Talisman Figures for Healing, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe. Dimensions/Info Left to Right: (Early 20th c. Wood, 4 ¾” x 1 ½” x 1 ½”, $90.); (Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood, 5” x 2 ½” x 1 ½”, $90.); (Mid 20th c, Wood, Stopper for shaman’s medicine container, 5 ¾” x 1” x 1 ¼”, $130.); ( Early 20th c. Wood, Used for healing a child, 3 ¼” x 1” x 1 ¾”, $85.)
Shaman’s Amulet/Talisman Figures for Healing, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Wood, :Late 19th to Mid 20th c

Dimensions/Info Left to Right: (Early 20th c. Wood, 4 ¾” x 1 ½” x 1 ½”, $90.); (Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood, stopper for medicine bottle – 5” x 2 ½” x 1 ½”, $90.); (Mid 20th c, Wood, Stopper for shaman’s medicine container, 5 ¾” x 1” x 1 ¼”, $130.); ( Early 20th c. Wood, Used for healing a child, 3 ¼” x 1” x 1 ¾”, $85.)

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age Used for healing rituals. 4 ¾” x 4” x 5”. $70.
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman

Used for healing rituals. 4 ¾” x 4” x 5”. $70.

Shaman Healing Fetish, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak Tribe Late 19th c, Wood, metal, shell, fiber netting. This is used by the shaman to contact the spirits for healing rituals. 16” x 6” x 5”, $1800.
Shaman Healing Fetish with padlocks, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak Tribe, Late 19th c, Wood, metal, shell, fiber netting

This is used by the shaman to contact the spirits for healing rituals. 16” x 6” x 5”, $1800.

Magic Protection Figure Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early to mid 19th c, Ironwood, patinated with use and age. Protection from harmful spirits. 35” x 21 ½” 8”, $1600.
Magic Protection Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early to mid 19th c, Ironwood

This figure gives protection from harmful spirits. 35” x 21 ½” 8”, $1600.

Skull Necklace Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wooden Beads, Rodent Skull, darkened with soot. Worn for healing and protection rituals 17 ½” x 2 ¾” x 1 ¾”, $450.
Skull Necklace Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wooden Beads, Rodent Skull, darkened with soot

Worn for healing and protection rituals 17 ½” x 2 ¾” x 1 ¾”, $450.

Shaman Amulet/Talisman Figure (rare), Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Modang Dayak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood with patina from use and age. Zoomorphic or monkey figure amulet. $650 (sold as pair) Dimensions" (left - 7” x 1 ½” x 3 ¾”); (right - 7” x 1 ½” x ¾”)
Shaman Amulet/Talisman Figure (rare), Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Modang Dayak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood

Zoomorphic or monkey figure amulet. $650 (sold as pair) Dimensions” (left – 7” x 1 ½” x 3 ¾”); (right – 7” x 1 ½” x ¾”)

Shaman Healing Fetish Rattle Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, stone, animal teeth and claws, coins, patinated with age and use. Used for healing rituals. 14” x 8” x 4”, $560.
Shaman Healing Fetish Rattle, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot

Used for healing rituals. 14” x 8” x 4”, $560.

Shaman Fetish Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, animal hide. Hung on the wall in the shaman’s house and used for calling spirits and for healing rituals. 12” x 8” x 6”, $600.
Shaman Fetish Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, animal hide
Shaman Figure with Red Skirt, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak, Early 20th c, Wood, cotton cloth. Used for healing and protection. 20” x 4” x 2”, $800.
Shaman Figure with Red Skirt, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak, Early 20th c, Wood, cotton cloth

Used for healing and protection.20” x 4” x 2”, $800.

Shaman Protector Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, cloth straps. Kept in the shaman’s home for his protection. 28” x 6” x 5 ½”, $1900.
Shaman Protector Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, cloth straps

Kept in the shaman’s home for his protection. 28” x 6” x 5 ½”, $1900.

Shaman Female Amulet Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Ironwood. Used for healing treatments, 8 ¼” x 5” x 4”, $90.
Shaman Female Amulet Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Ironwood

Used for healing treatments, 8 ¼” x 5” x 4”, $90. SOLD

Medicine Man Effigy Betel Nut Offering Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, cloth, paint Used to hold betel nuts as a ritual offering to the deities. 13” x 4 ½” x 5”, $1200.
Medicine Man Effigy Betel Nut Offering Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, cloth, paint

Used to hold betel nuts as a ritual offering to the deities.
13” x 4 ½” x 5”, $1200.

Shaman Healing Talismans, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Mid 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals. The figure corresponds to specific illness or conditions. Dimensions and prices left to right: (left - 7 ¾” x 5 ¾” x 4”, $220.); tall middle - 10 ½” x 6 ½” x 2 ½”, $160.); (light middle - 7 ½” x 2” x 2”, $210.); (right - 8 ½” x 5” x 4”, $190.)
Shaman Healing Talismans, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Mid 20th c, Wood 

Used in healing rituals. The figure corresponds to specific illness or conditions. Dimensions and prices left to right: (left – 7 ¾” x 5 ¾” x 4”, $220.); tall middle – 10 ½” x 6 ½” x 2 ½”, $160.); (light middle – 7 ½” x 2” x 2”, $210.); (right – 8 ½” x 5” x 4”, $190.)

Shaman Protection Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Modong Dayak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood darkened with soot. Shaman use these to protect themselves and villagers from evil creatures, 14” x 4 ¼” x 4”, $560
Shaman Protection Figure, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Modong Dayak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood darkened with soot

Shaman use these to protect themselves and villagers from evil creatures, 14” x 4 ¼” x 4”, $560.

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, patinated with age and use. For fertility rituals (two figures, three faces), 12” x 3 ½” x 3”, $190.
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot. SOLD
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak Tribe Late 19th c, Root wood, glass beads, pigmented with soot, patinated with age and use Two sided figure. Used for healing rituals (double sided/two faces), 5” x 4 ½” x 4 ½”, $365.
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak Tribe, Late 19th c, Root wood, glass beads, pigmented with soot

Two sided figure. Used for healing rituals (double sided/two faces), 5” x 4 ½” x 4 ½”, $365.

Shaman Healing Fetish, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, pigment, patina. Held in shaman’s hand during ritual for healing calling the spirits 10 ½” x 4” x 3 ½”, $420.
Shaman Healing Fetish, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood

Held in shaman’s hand during ritual for healing calling the spirits, 10 ½” x 4” x 3 ½”, $420.

'Lupong Manang' or Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Amulet/Fetish Figures (rare), East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, raffia, feathers, porcupine quill Shaman made their own medicine kit backpacks to carry items for healing, protection and predictions such as special teeth, stones and other items. The healing amulet figures on the exterior correspond to illnesses and other conditions. 17” x 12 ½” x 15”, $3,900. (see below image for detail image of shoulder straps)
‘Lupong Manang’ or Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Amulet/Fetish Figures (rare), East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, raffia, feathers, porcupine quills

Shaman made their own medicine kit backpacks to carry items for healing, protection and predictions such as special teeth, stones and other items. The healing amulet figures on the exterior correspond to illnesses and other conditions. 17” x 12 ½” x 15”, $3,900. (see below image for detail image of shoulder straps)

'Lupong Manang' or Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Amulet/Fetish Figures (rare), East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, Dayak tribe, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot, raffia, feathers, porcupine quill. Shaman made their own medicine kit backpacks to carry items for healing, protection and predictions such as special teeth, stones and other items. The healing amulet figures on the exterior correspond to illnesses and other conditions. 17” x 12 ½” x 15”, $3,900. (see previous image of front side)
Shoulder Strap Detail of ‘Lupong Manang’ Backpack

 


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