Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Sulawesi and Papua New Guinea

SULAWESI, Greater Sunda Islands (first 2 images):

'Lupong Manang' - Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Figures (rare), South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Toraja tribe, Mid 20th c, Wood, 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. 19” x 9 ½” x 10”, $2200.
‘Lupong Manang’ – Shaman’s Medicine Carrier/Backpack with Healing Figures (rare), South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Toraja tribe, Mid 20th c, Wood

Shaman made their own medicine kits, including wooden backpacks, 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. 19” x 9 ½” x 10”, $2200.

Shaman’s Medicine Box, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Toraja tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Container for medicinal, herbs for healing. 14 ¼” x 9 ¼” x 8”, $290.
Shaman’s Medicine Box, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Toraja tribe, Early 20th c, Wood

Container for medicinal, herbs for healing. 14 ¼” x 9 ¼” x 8”, $290.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA:

Sacred Flute with Wusear Effigy Stopper, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Biwat people, Early 20th c, Flute body - Bamboo, raffia. Effigy Figure - Carved in wood, this figure is particularly elaborate - shell eyes, feather eyelashes, woven clothing and shell and feather adornments with tar and string. Played in pairs for the initiation ceremony for boys. The flute had the power to be voices of the spirits. The anthropomorphic figures or Wusear are specific to these flutes and were inserted into the top when not in use to prevent evil spirits from entering the sacred instruments. They were kept in the homes of the shaman and it was taboo for women and children to see them. 55” x 9 ½” x 8”, $9500.
Sacred Flute with Wusear Effigy Stopper, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Biwat people, Early 20th c, Flute body – Bamboo, raffia. Effigy Figure – Carved in wood, this figure is particularly elaborate – shell eyes, feather eyelashes, woven clothing and shell and feather adornments with tar and string

Played in pairs for the initiation ceremony for boys. The flute had the power to be voices of the spirits. The anthropomorphic figures or Wusear are specific to these flutes and were inserted into the top when not in use to prevent evil spirits from entering the sacred instruments. They were kept in the homes of the shaman and it was taboo for women and children to see them.  55” x 9 ½” x 8”, $9500. SOLD

Shaman Shell Necklace, Papua New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, Mid 20th c. Shell, cloth, fiber cord. Worn by the shaman for healing ceremonies. 19” x 15” x 3 ½” $850.
Shaman Shell Necklace, Papua New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Shell, cloth, fiber cord

Worn by the shaman for healing ceremonies. 19” x 15” x 3 ½” $850.

Shaman Magic Figure, Papúa New Guinea, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood, fiber. Used in ritual ceremonies to stop rain. 11 ½” x 1 ½” x 1 ¼”, $135.
Shaman Magic Figure, Papúa New Guinea, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood

Used in ritual ceremonies to stop rain. 11 ½” x 1 ½” x 1 ¼”, $135.

Shaman Talisman Figure, Papúa New Guinea, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood. Used in ritual ceremonies to stop rain. (Figure on right - 12 ½” x 2” x 2 ½”, Sold)
Shaman Talisman Figure, Papúa New Guinea, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood (figure on right)

Used in ritual ceremonies to stop rain. (Figure on right – 12 ½” x 2” x 2 ½”, SOLD)

Shaman Healing Stones Necklace, Papua, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, Early to mid 20th c, Stone, Shells, cloth fiber cord. Used in healing ceremonies. 18” x 5” x 1”, $550.
Shaman Healing Stones Necklace, Papua, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, Early to mid 20th c, Stone, Shells, cloth fiber cord

Used in healing ceremonies. 18” x 5” x 1”, $550.

Shaman Healing Stone Necklaces, Papua, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, Early to mid 20th c, Stone, Shells, cloth fiber cord. Used in healing ceremonies. Dimensions: 16" to 20" long, $110. each
Shaman Healing Stone Necklaces, Papua, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, Early to mid 20th c, Stone, Shells, cloth fiber cord

Used in healing ceremonies. Dimensions: 16″ to 20″ long, $110. each 

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Lesser Sundas – Timor Islands

Timor, like Flores is more mountainous than the rolling hills of Sumba, but the shamanic culture is much the same. Both islands are now predominantly christian, although, like most of the cultures throughout the Lesser Sunda Islands, they have integrated the newer belief systems with their ancient roots in Animism. (for several neighboring Lesser Sunda Islands see the following post)

'Katoda' - God Effigy, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Stone. Shaman would pray to a Katoda to predict natural disasters. 19” x 5 ½” x 6 ½”, $1600.
‘Katoda’ – God Effigy, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Stone

Shaman would pray to a Katoda to predict natural disasters. 19” x 5 ½” x 6 ½”, $1600.

Shaman’s Ritual Figure, Timor Island, Sunda Island, Indonesia, Niki Niki village Early 20th c, Wood, fiber cord, shell. Used by shaman to treat people as well as for other traditional rituals. 21” x 7 ½” x 6 ½”, $1400.
Shaman’s Ritual Figure, Timor Island, Sunda Island, Indonesia, Niki Niki village
Early 20th c, Wood, fiber cord, shell

Used by shaman to treat people as well as for other traditional rituals. 21” x 7 ½” x 6 ½”, $1400. SOLD

Divining Amulet/Fetishes Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Stone, pigment, European Glass seed beads. The inlaid ‘white heart’ beads were particularly desirable. Used in healing ceremonies to ‘See’ - or locate, lost items and to determine the appropriate day and time for performing each ceremony. 6” x 2 ½” x 5”, $550.
‘Seer’ or Divining Talisman/Fetish, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia,
Late 19th c, Stone, pigment, European Glass seed beads

The inlaid ‘white heart’ beads were particularly desirable. Used in healing ceremonies to ‘See’ – or locate, lost items and to determine the appropriate day and time for performing each ceremony. 6” x 2 ½” x 5”, $550. (see companion ‘seer’ in image below)

Divining Amulet/Fetish, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Stone, pigment, European Glass seed beads. The inlaid ‘white heart’ beads were particularly desirable Used in healing ceremonies to ‘See’ - or locate items, and to determine the appropriate day and time for performing each ceremony. 5 ¼” x 1 ¾” x 2 ¼”, $400.
Divining Amulet/Fetish, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia,
Late 19th c, Stone, pigment, European Glass seed beads, 5 ¼” x 1 ¾” x 2 ¼”, $400.
Ancestral Offering Statue, Indonesia, Timor Island, Boti village, Mid 20th century Wood. This totem-like carving of many ancestor effigies is used by shamans in contacting spirits and healing rituals. 11 ½” x 4” x 3 ½”, sold
Ancestral Offering Statue, Indonesia, Timor Island, Boti village, Mid 20th century,
Wood

This totem-like carving of many ancestor effigies is used by shamans in contacting spirits and healing rituals. 11 ½” x 4” x 3 ½”, SOLD

Ancestral Offering Figures, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood. Used by shaman for healing rituals. (left, male fig - 8 ½” x 5” x 3 ½”); (right female fig -9” x 4 ¾” x 4”), $875. (sold as pair)
Ancestral Offering Figures, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood

 Used by shaman for healing rituals. (left, male fig – 8 ½” x 5” x 3 ½”); (right female fig -9” x 4 ¾” x 4”), $875. (sold as pair)

Magic (Female) Effigy, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Niki Niki village, Early 20th c, Wood. Used for healing treatments. 10 ¾” x 8 ½” x 10”, $285.
Magic (Female) Effigy, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Niki Niki village, Early 20th c, Wood

Used for healing treatments. 10 ¾” x 8 ½” x 10”, $285.

Healing Figures, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid to late 19th c. Stone, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals. (left - late 19th c, 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 3 ¼”, sold); (right - mid 19th c, 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 3 ¼”, sold)
Healing Figures, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid to late 19th c. Stone

Used in healing rituals. (left – late 19th c, 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 3 ¼”, SOLD); (right – mid 19th c, 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 3 ¼”, SOLD)

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talismans, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals, (left - 3 ½” x 1 ½” x 4”, $80.); (right - 3 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 3 ½”, $100.)
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talismans, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood

Used in healing rituals, (left – 3 ½” x 1 ½” x 4”, $80.); (right – 3 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 3 ½”, $100.)

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talismans, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals, (left - 4 ¼” x 1” x 3 ½”, $65.); (right - 3 ¼” x 1 ¼” x 4”, $80.)
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talismans, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood

Used in healing rituals, (left – 4 ¼” x 1” x 3 ½”, $65.); (right – 3 ¼” x 1 ¼” x 4”, $80.)

Shaman Healing Amulets, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals. Dimensions left to right: (left - 3 1 /2” x 1 ¼” x 1 ½”, $70.); (left middle -2 ¾” x 1” x 1", sold); (right middle - ~3 x 2); (right - 2 ½” x 1” x 1", sold)
Shaman Healing Amulets, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood

Used in healing rituals. Dimensions left to right: (left – 3 1 /2” x 1 ¼” x 1 ½”, $70.); (left middle -2 ¾” x 1” x 1″, SOLD); (right middle – ~3 x 2); (right – 2 ½” x 1” x 1″, SOLD)

Shaman Medicine Mortar (rare), Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood. Preparing medicines using a pestle to grind, 10 ¾” x 4” x 4 ½”, $425.
Shaman Medicine Mortar (rare), Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood

Preparing medicines using a pestle to grind, 10 ¾” x 4” x 4 ½”, $425.

Shaman Healing Medicine Container Necklace, Alor Island, Timor Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood, beads, shell (Telescopium telescopium, or Horn snail spire). Used to hold medicine for healing rituals, 4 ½” x 1 ½” x 1 ¼”, $390.
Shaman Healing Medicine Container Necklace, Alor Island, Timor Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood, beads, shell (Telescopium telescopium, or Horn snail spire)

Used to hold medicine for healing rituals, 4 ½” x 1 ½” x 1 ¼”, $390.

Medicine Woman Effigy with Child (rare), Alor Island, Flores Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid to late 20th c, Wood. Used for healing, and for black and white magic (the figure itself does not have any dark energy), 10 ½” x 3 ½” x 2 ½”, sold
Medicine Woman Effigy with Child (rare), Alor Island, Flores Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid to late 20th c, Wood

Used for healing rituals, 10 ½” x 3 ½” x 2 ½”, SOLD

Shaman Figure (rare), Atauro Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Early 20th c. Wood, cloth. Used to protect people from harmful spirits during rituals. Faded and patinated with use and age, original red color of cloth still visible. Dimensions: (left - 22 ½” 5 ½’ x 7 ½”, $1200.); (right - 25 ¼’ x 4 ¼” x 6 ½”, $1200.)
Shaman Figure (rare), Atauro Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c.
Wood, cloth

Used to protect people from harmful spirits during rituals. Faded and patinated with use and age, original red color of cloth still visible. Dimensions: (left – 22 ½” 5 ½’ x 7 ½”, $1200.); (right – 25 ¼’ x 4 ¼” x 6 ½”, $1200.)

Shaman Amulet Necklace, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Ceramic stone figures and beads, shell, cotton. Worn by the shaman for healing ceremonies. 21” x 11” x 1 ¾” $650.
Shaman Amulet Necklace, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Ceramic stone figures and beads, shell, cotton

Worn by the shaman for healing ceremonies. 21” x 11” x 1 ¾”, $650.

Shaman Amulet Necklace, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Ceramic stone figures and beads, shell, cotton. Worn by the shaman for healing ceremonies. 20 ½” x 11” x 1 ¾”, $650.
Shaman Amulet Necklace, Timor Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Ceramic stone figures and beads, shell, cotton

Worn by the shaman for healing ceremonies. 20 ½” x 11” x 1 ¾”, $650.

Shaman Healing Fetish, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood, fiber, metal nail. Kept in the shaman’s home. Covered in tiny holes from being pierced by its attached nail during rituals. Found in the ocean. 30” x 12” x 8”, sold
Shaman Healing Fetish, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood, fiber, metal nail

Kept in the shaman’s home. Covered in tiny holes from being pierced by its attached nail during rituals. Found in the ocean. 30” x 12” x 8”, SOLD

Shaman Talisman Figure, Wetar Island, Timor Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Wood, pigment, glass bead eyes. Used for healing treatment. 12 ½” x 4” x 4”, $430.
Shaman Talisman Figure, Wetar Island, Timor Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Wood, pigment, glass bead eyes

Used for healing rituals. 12 ½” x 4” x 4”, $430. SOLD

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Moluccas Islands, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia, Letti Village, Early 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals. $80.
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman, Moluccas Islands, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia, Letti Village, Early 20th c, Wood

Used in healing rituals. $80.

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Lesser Sundas – Flores Islands

Flores, and Timor, are more mountainous than the rolling hills of Sumba, but the shamanic culture is much the same. Both islands are now predominantly christian, although, like most of the cultures throughout the Lesser Sunda Islands, they have integrated the newer belief systems with their ancient roots in Animism. (see Timor and several neighboring Lesser Sunda Islands in the following posts)

Volcano God Effigy (exceptionally rare), Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Manga Lewa Village, Mid 18th c, Stone, cloth. Used by shaman for predicting volcanic eruptions. Passed down through four generations. 15” x 5 ½ x 5 ¾”, sold
Volcano God Effigy (exceptionally rare), Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Manga Lewa Village, Mid 18th c, Stone, cloth

Used by shaman for predicting volcanic eruptions. Passed down through four generations. 15” x 5 ½ x 5 ¾”, SOLD

Shaman Healing Figures, Male and Female Couple, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Mid 20th c. Wood, patinated with use and age. One of the pair held in each hand during a ceremonial dance for healing a marriage. (female - 8” x 7 ¾” x 1”); (male - 8” x 8” x 1 ½”), $590 (sold as pair)
Shaman Healing Figures, Male, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Mid 20th c.
Wood

One of the pair held in each hand during a ceremonial dance for healing a marriage. (female – 8” x 7 ¾” x 1”); (male – 8” x 8” x 1 ½”), $590. sold as pair

Magic Protection Figures East Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood, bamboo, thread. Kept in household kitchen to protect the home. Dimensions: 10" to 17" tall; $135. to $225.
Magic Protection Figures, East Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood, bamboo, thread

Kept in household kitchen to protect the home. Dimensions: 10″ to 17″ tall; $135. to $225. (far left and far right SOLD)

Magic Talisman Figure, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Bajawa village, Mid 20th c, Wood Used for healing rituals. 15 ½” x 6 ½” x 4”, $320.
Magic Talisman Figure, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Bajawa village, Mid 20th c, Wood

Used for healing rituals. 15 ½” x 6 ½” x 4”, $320.

'Caci', Ritual Fighting Whip - Caci Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Manggarai tribe Early 20th c. Wood, rattan, bark, smooth patina from use and age Caci is a powerful magic whip-fighting ritual performed during a harvest festival with complex ritual preparations. It is played by 2 men, usually from different villages. The Whip symbolizes the male phallus, the father and the sky. The shield used with it symbolizes the female, the womb and the earth. These elements are united when the whip hits the shield symbolizing life giving sexual unity. It is a playful event but any blood shed is considered an offering to the ancestors who will then ensure fertility of the land. 14” x 10” x 2 ½” $520.
‘Caci’, Ritual Fighting Whip, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Manggarai tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, rattan, bark

‘Caci’ is a powerful magic whip-fighting ritual performed during a harvest festival with complex ritual preparations. It is played by 2 men, usually from different villages. The Whip symbolizes the male phallus, the father and the sky. The shield used with it symbolizes the female, the womb and the earth. These elements are united when the whip hits the shield symbolizing life giving sexual unity. It is a playful event but any blood shed is considered an offering to the ancestors who will then ensure fertility of the land. 14” x 10” x 2 ½”, $520.

Effigy Figure, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th to early 20th c, Aggregate Stone, Used by shaman for healing and divination, 11” x 8” x 6”, sold
Effigy Figure, Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th to early 20th c, Aggregate Stone

Used by shaman for healing and divination, 11” x 8” x 6”, sold

Shaman's Effigy Figure, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Bena village, Early to mid 10th c. Stone, Used by shaman for healing and divination. 11 ½” x 7 ½” x 5 ½”, Sold
Shaman’s Effigy Figure, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Bena village, Early to mid 10th c, Stone

Used by shaman for healing and divination. 11 ½” x 7 ½” x 5 ½”, Sold

Shaman Figure, Central Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Island, Japu village, Early 20th c, Stone, cloth strap. For protecting the clan house and for divination, 11” x 3 ½” x 5 ½”, $800.
Shaman Figure, Central Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Island, Japu village, Early 20th c, Stone, cloth strap

For protecting the clan house and for divination, 11” x 3 ½” x 5 ½”, $800.

Nitta Watu (rare), Kitchen Protector Figure - Shaman Power Object, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Maumere district, Nita or Bena Village, Early to mid 19th c, Stone, pigment, cloth strap for hanging. Used to protect a house or home. 14” x 5 ½” x 6”, $1700.
Nitta Watu (rare), Kitchen Protector Figure – Shaman Power Object, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Maumere district, Nita or Bena Village, Early to mid 19th c, Stone, pigment, cloth strap for hanging

Used to protect a house or home. 14” x 5 ½” x 6”, $1700.

Magic House Protector, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early to mid 19th c, stone, cloth strap, 19” x 5 ¾” x 4 ¼”, $1800.
Magic House Protector, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early to mid 19th c, stone

Magic House Protector, West Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early to mid 19th c, stone, cloth strap, 19” x 5 ¾” x 4 ¼”, $1800.

group photo (above) of the 3 previous house protectors figures
Nita Ina, Shaman Magic Figure Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Maumere district, Nita Village, Late 19th to early 20th c, Tree bark, cloth, shell. Used for either ‘white’ or ‘black’ ritual magic (dark energy does not inhabit the figure itself) (male figure -26 ½” x 14 ½” x 6 ½”,$1900.), (female figure -23” x 10” x 5”, $1400.)
Nita Ina, Magic Figure,
Flores Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Maumere district, Nita Village, Late 19th to early 20th c, Tree bark, cloth, shell

Used for either ‘white’ or ‘black’ ritual magic (dark energy does not inhabit the figure itself) (male figure – 26 ½” x 14 ½” x 6 ½”,$1900.), (female figure – 23” x 10” x 5”, $1400.)

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism on Sumba Island, Indonesia

Sumba Island is part of the ‘The Lesser Sunda Islands’ – the long sweeping chain of islands south of Bali that make up the southern part of Indonesia. In the following posts we include items from Sumba, Flores, Timor, Lombok and a few others. There are many similarities in belief systems throughout the Lesser Sundas but the material culture is unique to each island.
Although the people of Sumba are now mostly of Christian or Muslim faith, their ancient Animistic belief system remain a powerful influence in daily life. This is reflected in the art and tools of shaman priests. Shaman are still a fundamental part of society, presiding over new building construction, births, deaths, marriages, mock wars and other cultural rituals and celebrations. Their blessings and protection rituals are essential to the well being of the community and the individual’s physical and spiritual health.
The tribal, hilltop villages which which consist of twelve to twenty to twenty stilt houses, are much the same as they were hundreds of years ago, as are most of the practices of everyday life. Sumba was one of the last islands to come under the control of the Indonesian government in the early 1970s, leaving the old culture mostly intact to this day.

Shaman Charms, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Lamboya village, Early 20th c, Wood, smooth patina from use and age. Healing amulets. 3 ½” x 2” x 2” (container); 1 ¼” x ¾’ x ½” (each figure), $375.
Shaman Charms, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Lamboya village, Early 20th c, Wood

Healing charms used in rituals. The shaman figures and their container have become smooth with a darkened patina from use and age.  3 ½” x 2” x 2” (container); 1 ¼” x ¾’ x ½” (each figure), $375. SOLD

Shaman Effigy, Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Stone, pigment, cloth, Used for healing and to protect shaman from ghost spirits, 6 ½” x 5 ½” x 5”, $725.
Shaman Effigy, Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Stone, pigment, cloth

Used for healing and to protect shaman from ghost spirits, 6 ½” x 5 ½” x 5”, $725. (see image below of both the above shaman figures together)

Shaman Effigy and Shaman Charms
additional view of Shaman Effigy and Shaman Charms
Shaman Drum, Sumba Island, Indonesia, Early to mid 20th c, Animal skin stretched over wood, Used by shaman to initiate and maintain a trance state during rituals, 17 ½” x 10 ½’ x 10”, $490.
Shaman Drum, Sumba Island, Indonesia, Early to mid 20th c, Animal skin stretched over wood

Used by shaman to initiate and maintain a trance state during rituals, 17 ½” x 10 ½’ x 10”, SOLD

Hunting Spirit Guide, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Kodi village. Early to mid 20th c. Wood, patinated with use and age. Spirit guide figure to pray to before hunting or fishing. 7” x 6 ½” x 16”, $325.
Hunting Spirit Guide, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Kodi village. Early to mid 20th c. Wood

Spirit guide figure to pray to before hunting or fishing. This piece has a nice patina from age and use. 7” x 6 ½” x 16”, SOLD

Shaman Figure with Alligator, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Kodi tribe, Mid to late 19th c, Wood, Used for protection rituals. 19 ¾” x 4 ¼” x 4”, $750.
Shaman Figure with Alligator, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Kodi tribe, Mid to late 19th c, Wood

Used for protection rituals. 19 ¾” x 4 ¼” x 4”, $750.

Magic Amulet/Talisman Figure, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang village Mid 20th c, Wood Magic amulet used for healing rituals. Sold
Magic Amulet/Talisman Figure, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang village, Mid 20th c, Wood

Magic amulet used for healing rituals. SOLD

Shaman Magic Amulet Male Figure, West Sumba, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang village, Early 20th c, Wood. Used for healing rituals. 7 ¾” x 2 ½” x 5 ¼”, $180.
Shaman Magic Amulet Male Figure, West Sumba, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang village, Early 20th c, Wood.

Used for healing rituals. 7 ¾” x 2 ½” x 5 ¼”, $180. SOLD

Magic Figure, Woman with Child, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Stone. Used to heal and protect woman and child. 5 ½” 7” x 3 ¼”, $230.
Magic Figure, Woman with Child, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Late 19th c, Stone

Used to heal and protect woman and child. 5 ½” 7” x 3 ¼”, $230. SOLD

Hanging Effigy and Herb Bowl - set, East Sumba Island, Indonesia, Soru village, Early 20th c, Wood, coconut, fiber string. The effigy hanger gives great healing power to the herbs placed in the coconut bowl suspended below it. The bowl has three bird figure and three carved faces with an amulet head hanging below it. 30” x 6” x 6”, $1200.
Hanging Effigy and Herb Bowl – set, East Sumba Island, Indonesia, Soru village, Early 20th c, Wood

The effigy hanger gives great healing power to the herbs placed in the coconut bowl suspended below it. The bowl has three bird figure and three carved faces with an amulet head hanging below it. 30” x 6” x 6”, $1200.

Shaman Healing Couple Effigy, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang village Early to mid 20th c, Wood, fiber cloth, patinated with use and age, Used in healing rituals and to fix marriages. Dimensions: (left, male: 5 ¼” x 3 ¼” x 2”); (right, female: 5” x 3” x 2”), $420. sold as a pair
Shaman Healing Couple Effigy, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Anakalang village, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, fiber cloth

Used in healing rituals and to fix marriages. Dimensions: (left, male: 5 ¼” x 3 ¼” x 2”); (right, female: 5” x 3” x 2”), $420. sold as a pair

Healing Amulet/Talisman, Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 19th c, Stone, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals. 6 ½” x 2 ½” x 2 ½”, $370.
Healing Amulet/Talisman, Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 19th c, Stone

 Patinated with use and age, this figure was used in healing rituals. 6 ½” x 2 ½” x 2 ½”, $370.

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman - Cow, Octopus, Monkey, Bird West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Early 20th c, Wood. Used in healing rituals, 10” x 16” x 13”, $600.
Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman – Cow, Octopus, Monkey, Bird, West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Early 20th c, Wood

This is an unusual piece. It is multi-sided and combines several different animals which become recognizable as you turn the piece. This view show a monkey. Its feet are duck-like bird heads. If you flip the piece over, it persents as the head of a cow and of an octopus depending on the angle you view it. Used in healing rituals, 10” x 16” x 13”, $600. (see image below for another angle showing the cow/octopus)

Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman - Cow, Octopus, Monkey, Bird West Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Early 20th c, Wood. Used in healing rituals, 10” x 16” x 13”, $600.
Alternate view of previous image – Shaman Healing Amulet/Talisman – Cow, Octopus, Monkey, Bird
Female Shaman Effigy Sumba Island, 17th century Stone, For healing related to childbirth, 5” x 3 ¾” x 4”, Sold
Female Shaman Effigy, Sumba Island, 17th century, Stone

For healing related to childbirth, 5” x 3 ¾” x 4”, SOLD

Shaman Magic Medicine Bottle Stopper, East Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Mid 19th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Talisman figure with child, used empower the healing medicine in the bottle. 3” x 1 ¼” x 1 ¼”, $80.
Shaman Magic Medicine Bottle Stopper, East Sumba Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 19th c, Wood

Talisman figure with child, used empower the healing medicine in the bottle. 3” x 1 ¼” x 1 ¼”, $80. SOLD

Shaman Staff, Sumba, Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood, patinated with use and age. Used in healing rituals. 35 ½ x 2 ¼” x 1 ½”, $700.
Shaman Staff, Sumba, Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Mid 20th c, Wood

Used in healing rituals. 35 ½ x 2 ¼” x 1 ½”, $700.

Effigy Mask Trap, East Sumba, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Tana Mabanas village, Late 19th to early 20th c, Coconut, wood, pigment. Hangs in shaman’s house. Gathers and traps black magic. The shaman will then perform a ritual to disperse them and to keep them from returning. 9 ½” x 8” x 10 ¾”, $700.
Effigy Mask Trap, East Sumba, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Tana Mabanas village, Late 19th to early 20th c, Coconut, wood, pigment

Hangs in shaman’s house. Gathers and traps black magic. The shaman will then perform a ritual to disperse them and to keep them from returning. 9 ½” x 8” x 10 ¾”, $700. (see below image for side view) SOLD

Effigy Mask Trap, East Sumba, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Tana Mabanas village, Late 19th to early 20th c, Coconut, wood, pigment. Hangs in shaman’s house. Gathers and traps black magic. The shaman will then perform a ritual to disperse them and to keep them from returning. 9 ½” x 8” x 10 ¾”, $700.
side view of previous image – Effigy Mask Trap

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

The Mentawai tribes remain one of the most isolated populations on the planet. Some still live a neolithic, hunter-gather lifestyle in the rain-forest and do not use a written language. Shaman, or sikerei, are intrinsic to daily life and considered leaders, although they are an egalitarian society. The classic Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim themes common to most of Indonesia are not part of the Mentawai belief system which is wholly based in nature. In their philosophy, objects are not things to be used, but rather things that can allow themselves to be used – as all things, including air and water, have spirits. This is reflected in their deeply symbolic decoration of objects as well as their characteristic body art. They adorn themselves with intricate spirit tattoos for protection, and practice tooth chiseling, to enhance physical and spiritual beauty. They believe they must keep their bodies beautiful so their spirits will be happy and not be tempted to leave. Their art is some of the most evocative and appealing of all the Indonesian cultures. 

Spirit Bird Boat Box, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, Early 20th c, Wood. Used by shaman to store powerful ritual and magic items associated with trance journeys and ceremonies. Kept in the shaman’s house. Boats are a common theme within this island culture. 7 ¾” x 30” x 7 ½”, $1100.
Spirit Bird Boat Box, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe,
Early 20th c, Wood

Used by shaman to store powerful ritual and magic items associated with trance journeys and ceremonies. Kept in the shaman’s house. Boats are a common theme within this island culture. 7 ¾” x 30” x 7 ½”, $1100.

'Salipa', Medicine Boat Box, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, Early 20th c, Wood with reed stitching and strap. Used by shaman to store implements to be used when called upon to convene with spirit world. 8” x 26” x 5 ¾”, $1100.
‘Salipa’, Medicine Boat Box, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, Early 20th c, Wood with reed stitching and strap

Used by shaman to store implements to be used when called upon to convene with spirit world. 8” x 26” x 5 ¾”, $1100.

God Effigy (rare), Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, 19th c, Wood. Used as a symbol to pray to. 15 ½” x 3 ½” x 6”, $1600.
God Effigy (rare), Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, 19th c, Wood

Used as a symbol to pray to. 15 ½” x 3 ½” x 6”, $1600.

Shaman Kit, Mentawai,Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe Early to mid 20th c, Case: sago palm leaf box, braided rattan. Raffia wand handle and headband, feathers, European glass trade beads, cotton trade cloth, wood, bronze bell. Contents: costume (loincloth, jewelry, head gear) and wands All items have a specific purpose - example: the beaded headband acts like antenna attracting spirits the shaman needs to contact, 5” x 8 ½” x 23 ½”, $3600.
Shaman Kit Contents, Mentawai,Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe
Early to mid 20th c, Case: sago palm leaf box, braided rattan. Raffia wand handle and headband, feathers, European glass trade beads, cotton trade cloth, wood, bronze bell

Contents: costume (loincloth, jewelry, head gear) and wands. All items have a specific purpose – example: the beaded headband acts like antenna attracting spirits the shaman needs to contact, 5” x 8 ½” x 23 ½”, $3600. (See closed box in image below)

Shaman Kit Box, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe Early to mid 20th c, Case: sago palm leaf box, braided rattan
Shaman Kit Box, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe. Early to mid 20th c, Case: sago palm leaf box, braided rattan
Shaman Kit Box Contents, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe Early to mid 20th c, Case: sago palm leaf box, braided rattan, Raffia wand handle and headband, feathers, European glass trade beads, cotton trade cloth, wood, bronze bell. Contents: costume (loincloth, jewelry, head gear) and wands. All items have a specific purpose - example: the beaded headband acts like antenna attracting spirits the shaman needs to contact. 5 ½” x 7 ½” x 30 ½” $3600.
Shaman Kit Box Contents, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe
Early to mid 20th c, Case: sago palm leaf box, braided rattan, Raffia wand handle and headband, feathers, European glass trade beads, cotton trade cloth, wood, bronze bell

Contents: costume (loincloth, jewelry, head gear) and wands. All items have a specific purpose – example: the beaded headband acts like antenna attracting spirits the shaman needs to contact. 5 ½” x 7 ½” x 30 ½”, $3600.

Shaman's Wands, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, Mid 20th c. Wood. Ritual zoomorphic amulets used in healing rituals. Dimesnisons: Left and Middle (right is Batak) (left, pigmented with soot - 2” x 7 ¾” x ¾”, $95); (middle - 2” x 7 ½” x 1”, $110.)
Shaman’s Wands, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia,
Mentawai tribe, Mid 20th c. Wood

Ritual zoomorphic amulets used in healing rituals. Dimesnisons: Left and Middle (right is Batak) (left, pigmented with soot – 2” x 7 ¾” x ¾”, $95); (middle – 2” x 7 ½” x 1”, $110.) (see detail in image below)

Shaman's Wand, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Mentawai tribe, Mid 20th c. Wood pigmented with soot Ritual zoomorphic amulet for healing rituals. 2” x 7 ½” x 1”, $110.
Shaman’s Wand (detail from previous image)
'Jaraik' Fetish Panel, Indonesia, Sumatra, Mentawai, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, macaque skulls, rattan. Usually found on the inner entrance of house. Made at the time the house is built and is protection for the inhabitants. A ritual hunt for a male bokkoi (macaque) monkey. its function is to both ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. The monkey plays a significant role in the protection by symbolically floating in the womb of the nature spirit. The carving is representative of a Tree of Life motif. And is also a symbol for the human soul after liberation from the physical body.
‘Jaraik’ Fetish Panel, Indonesia, Sumatra, Mentawai, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, macaque skulls, rattan

Usually found on the inner entrance of house. Made at the time the house is built and is protection for the inhabitants. A ritual hunt for a male bokkoi (macaque) monkey. its function is to both ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. The monkey plays a significant role in the protection by symbolically floating in the womb of the nature spirit. The carving is representative of a Tree of Life motif. And is also a symbol for the human soul after liberation from the physical body.

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 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.) (ALL 4 SOLD)

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. SOLD

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”) SOLD

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.) SOLD; (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

 

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Sumatra, Indonesia

Sumatra is one island in the SE Asian chain of 17,ooo islands that make up Indonesia. The cultures specific to different islands have long been isolated from one another resulting is significant diversity. It is therefore helpful to organize the following Indonesian descriptions into major sub-groupings. Please browse through the following posts: Sumatra (Batak tribes), Borneo (Dayak tribes), Mentawai, and the Lesser Sunda Islands of Sumba, Flores, Timor and Lombok, among others to get the entirety of Indonesia.
Sumatra: One of Indonesia’s largest islands, it is home to the Batak tribes. Batak Datu, or shaman, are erudite men with a long esoteric history encompassing both white and black magic. They have the power to exercise power even after death. Like walking encyclopedias, they are well educated and proficient in science, history, medicine, theology and economics.
Becoming a Batak shaman is not a matter of choice as in many cultures where one recognizes a calling and seeks training. They are most often identified at a young age and obligated to serve a long apprenticeship. Their repertoire includes the ability to cast spells, influence the weather, find lost objects, and diagnose and treat physical and metal illnesses. They are also highly trained and prolific artist/craftsmen, required to produce their own sacred objects and medicines. The accordion style shaman books, written in the Batak language to preserve their healing and magical knowledge, are works of art in themselves.

'Pangulubalang' Shaman Figure (exceptionally rare), Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak, Simalungun, Mid 16th to 17th c, Stone, with patina They are specifically made by the shaman and embodied with a powerful spirit slave. They are used in conjunction with a magical substance, pupuk - a magical substance which is the embodiment of earthly suffering, destruction, hate and anger - which required special ingredients and a long and intricate preparation ritual. The purpose of this was to imbue the statue with the power to ward off evil spirits, to prevent disasters and as a dynamic healing tool. For healing, small bits of the statue itself were chipped off of corresponding body parts and made into a potion. 12” x 7 ¾” x 3 ½”, Price on request
‘Pangulubalang’ Shaman Figure (exceptionally rare), Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak, Simalungun, Mid 16th to 17th c, Stone

‘Pangulubalang’ Shaman Figure (exceptionally rare), Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak, Simalungun, Mid 16th to 17th c, Stone, with patina. They are specifically made by the shaman and embodied with a powerful spirit slave. They are used in conjunction with a magical substance, ‘pupuk’ – a magical substance which is the embodiment of earthly suffering, destruction, hate and anger – which required special ingredients and a long and intricate preparation ritual. The purpose of this was to imbue the statue with the power to ward off evil spirits, to prevent disasters and as a dynamic healing tool. For healing, small bits of the statue itself were chipped off of corresponding body parts and made into a potion. 12” x 7 ¾” x 3 ½”, Price on request

Shaman’s Medicine/Magic Book, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood cover, bark pages. The book unfolds like an accordion It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 8” x 6 ½” x 2 ½”,$3200.
Shaman’s Medicine/Magic Book, Sumatra, Indonesia,
Batak tribe, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood cover, bark pages

The book unfolds like an accordion. The wooden cover is fairly austere with a small carving on the front. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 8” x 6 ½” x 2 ½”,$3200. (see image below for inside detail)

Shaman’s Medicine/Magic Book, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood cover, bark pages. The book unfolds like an accordion It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 8” x 6 ½” x 2 ½”,$3200.
inside detail Batak Pustaha (previous image shaman book)
'Pustaha' or Shaman Medicine Book, Indonesia, Sumatra, Batak tribe, Wood cover, bark pages and braided rattan band. Late 19th or early 20th c, The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 4 ½” x 3 ½” x 2”, $2200.
‘Pustaha’ or Shaman Medicine Book, Indonesia, Sumatra, Batak tribe, Late 19th or early 20th c, Wood cover, bark pages and braided rattan band. 

The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 4 ½” x 3 ½” x 2”, $2200. (see inside detail below) SOLD

Inside Detail of 'Pustaha' or Shaman Medicine Book, Indonesia, Sumatra, Batak tribe, Wood cover, bark pages and braided rattan band. Late 19th or early 20th c, The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 4 ½” x 3 ½” x 2”, $2200.
Inside Detail of ‘Pustaha’ or Shaman Medicine Book (for cover, see previous image)
Female Effigy Figure Sumatra, Indonesia Batak tribe Mid 19th c. Wood, shell eyes, cloth, pigmented Use healing 16” x 19 ½” x 7” $2200.
Female Effigy Figure, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Mid 19th c, Wood, shell eyes, cloth

Used in healing rituals, 16” x 19 ½” x 7”, $2200. SOLD

Cat Amulet Sumatra, Indonesia Batak Tribe Early 20th century Wood, pigmented with soot, patina from age and use Amulets and Talismans are often used by the Datu (Shaman priest) as well as by the tribes people. There are innumerable ways in which a person can protect themselves as well as their village with these amulets. This cat-like figure was empowered to protect against wild animals, enemies and black magic. 5 ¼ “ x 4” x 2” $450.
Cat Amulet, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak Tribe, Early 20th c, Wood pigmented with soot

.Amulets and Talismans are often used by the Datu (Shaman priest) as well as by the tribes people. There are innumerable ways in which a person can protect themselves as well as their village with these amulets. This cat-like figure was empowered to protect against wild animals, enemies and black magic. This one has a beautiful smooth patina from use and age. 5 ¼ “ x 4” x 2”, $450.

Shaman Divining Effigy, Sumatra, Indonesia, Karo village, Batak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood, pigment, fiber cord, smooth patina from use and age. Used to predict the future. 20” x 9” x 6”, $1450.
Shaman Divining Effigy, Sumatra, Indonesia, Karo village, Batak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood, pigment, fiber cord

Used in rituals to predict the future. 20” x 9” x 6”, $1450.

'Pustaha' or Shaman Medicine/Magic Book, Indonesia, Sumatra, Batak tribe, Wood cover, bark pages and braided rattan band. Late 19th or early 20th c, The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 1 ¾” x 2 ¼” x 3”, $1200.
‘Pustaha’ or Shaman Medicine/Magic Book, Indonesia, Sumatra, Batak tribe, Wood cover, bark pages and braided rattan band

The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 1 ¾” x 2 ¼” x 3”, $1200. SOLD

Shaman's Medicine/Magic Book, Sumatra, Indonesia Batak tribe, Early 19th c, Wood cover, bark pages. The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 8 ¼” x 5 ¼” x 2 ¾”, $3800.
Shaman’s Medicine/Magic Book, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early 19th c, Wood cover, bark pages

The book unfolds like an accordion. It contains the shaman’s magic formulas (tabas), oracles, recipes for medicines and instructions for performing rituals and for producing magic cures. It contains three main divisions of knowledge: the art of preserving life; the art of destroying life and the art of fortune telling. 8 ¼” x 5 ¼” x 2 ¾”, $3800. SOLD (see inside detail below)

Inside Detail of Shaman's Medicine/Magic Book, Sumatra, Indonesia Batak tribe, Early 19th c, Wood cover, bark pages
Inside Detail of Shaman’s Medicine/Magic Book (see cover in previous image)
Shaman Effigy Statue, Sumatra Island, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, metal, pigment, patinated with use and age. For protecting the shaman during healing rituals. 15 ¾” x 5” x 4 ¾”, $800.
Shaman Effigy Statue, Sumatra Island, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, metal, pigment

For protecting the shaman during healing rituals. 15 ¾” x 5” x 4 ¾”, $800. SOLD

Shaman's Magic Staff, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, plant fiber, rattan, pigmented with soot. Used for calling spirits and in healing rituals. 56 ½” x 5” x 4 ¾”, $1600.
Shaman’s Magic Staff, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, plant fiber, rattan, pigmented with soot

Used for calling spirits and in healing rituals. 56 ½” x 5” x 4 ¾”, $1600.

Shaman Figure andOffering Platter, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood, animal hair. For making offerings to spirits and deities. 18 ½’ x 14” x 14”, $650.
Shaman Figure and Offering Platter, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood, animal hair

For making offerings to spirits and deities. 18 ½’ x 14” x 14”, $650.

Shaman Mortar/Bowl, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early to mid 20th c. Wood, Used for grinding medicinal herbs. Singha (Lion) figure, 5 ½” x 5 ¾” x 12 ¼”, $420.
Shaman Mortar/Bowl, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early to mid 20th c.
Wood

Used for grinding medicinal herbs. Singha (Lion) figure, 5 ½” x 5 ¾” x 12 ¼”, $420.

Shaman's Medicine Container, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, rattan, fiber cord, pigmented. Hung in a shaman’s home to store medicines. (left/large - 17” x 7 ¼” x 7 ¼”, $475.); (right/small -12” x 6 ¼” 6 ¼”, $375.)
Shaman’s Medicine Container, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, rattan, fiber cord, pigmented

Hung in a shaman’s home to store medicines. (left/large – 17” x 7 ¼” x 7 ¼”, $475.); (right/small -12” x 6 ¼” 6 ¼”, $375.)

Shaman's Wand, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe Mid 20th c, Wood, patinated from use and age. Ritual zoomorphic amulet for healing rituals. (left/small - 2” x 6 ½” x 1 ¼”, $120.); (2” x 7 ½” x 1”, $110.)
Shaman’s Wand, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Mid 20th c, Wood

Ritual zoomorphic amulet for healing rituals. (left/small – 2” x 6 ½” x 1 ¼”, $120.); (2” x 7 ½” x 1”,$110.)

Shaman Ritual Spirit Door, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood, patinated with age and use. 52 ¼” x 16” x 6 ½”, $2200.
Shaman Ritual Spirit Door, Sumatra, Indonesia, Batak tribe, Late 19th c, Wood

The door from a shaman’s hut. 52 ¼” x 16” x 6 ½”, $2200. (see handle detail below)

Handle Detail of Shaman Ritual Spirit Door (see previous image)
Handle Detail of Shaman Ritual Spirit Door (see previous image)

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Vietnam and Thailand

Essential to the shamanic traditions of the Vietnamese is the ability to read and write Chinese. A requisite, extensive knowledge of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Animism and Ancestor worship make the shaman’s training a long and rigorous process. They must draw on a complex base of philosophies and abilities which include the use of scroll paintings, ritual texts, and prints. The shaman use a collection of specific objects and instruments to aid them in entering the realm of the spirits. They wear intricately crafted robes designed for women, who were the original healers – before the demands of child rearing caused a gradual shift to a predominantly male profession. The elaborate imagery embroidered on the robes represents the universe with all its deities. Shaman wrap themselves in this ‘Universe’ for protection during rituals, in which they negotiate directly with supernatural beings – both good, and evil. Shaman are the cornerstones of culture and society in Vietnam and Thailand. They care for both rich and poor, and preside over individual and community events and celebrations. (please keep checking as we add to this Vietnam post)

Shaman Paintings (full set - 18 pieces) Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. 42” x 16” (18pcs) $7500
Shaman Paintings (set – 15 banners), Thailand (Vietnamese Yap people), Mid to late 20th c, Cotton, pigment

Shamans derive spiritual power from these paintings. When hung around the room in specifically arranged layouts, they effectively become the spirit world they represent and, like a portal, the shaman can then enter that realm. The ritual texts allow him/her to communicate directly with the deities and ancestors to negotiate and treat diseases and other things that have become out of balance.
An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27.  An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The panels depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance, thereby entering Hell, and chants a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. 42” x 16” (15 pcs $6200.) Or $425 for a single individual banner.
*Please scroll to bottom of this post for detailed images of each of the large 42″ x 16″ banners above.

Shaman Paintings (3 Banners) Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (3 pcs - 17 ½” x 10", $170 each); (3 pcs - 10 ½” x 7 ½” , $110 each); (1 piece - 9" x 80", $325.)
Detail of Shaman Paintings/Banners

In addition to the previous set (previous image) of 18 large paintings – these are 3 smaller sizes – (3 pcs – 17 ½” x 10″, $170 each); (3 pcs – 10 ½” x 7 ½” , $110 each); (1 piece – 9″ x 80″, $325.) The horizontal one is shown folded. Please contact us for additional images.

Shaman’s Personal Instruction Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa), Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and Feng Shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 9 ½” x 8 ½” x ¾”, $850.
Shaman’s Personal Instruction Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper  

Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and Feng Shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 9 ½” x 8 ½” x ¾”, $850. (see inside detail below)

Inside Detail of Shaman’s Personal Instruction Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa), Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and Feng Shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 9 ½” x 8 ½” x ¾”, $850.
Inside Detail of Shaman’s Personal Instruction Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (some individual pages below)

 

Pages from Shaman's Personal Instructional Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Red Yao people Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa), Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and feng shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 12” x 11” x ½” (framed), $120. each
Pages from Shaman’s Personal Instructional Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Red Yao people, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa) (we have 19 individual framed pages), 2 more examples below. If you’d like to see more, please contact us. They are all different!)

 

Pages from Shaman's Personal Instructional Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Red Yao people Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa), Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and feng shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 12” x 11” x ½” (framed), $120. each
Pages from Shaman’s Personal Instructional Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam, Red Yao people, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa) 

Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and feng shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 12” x 11” x ½” (framed), $120. each

Amulet Yantra Shirt - extremely rare and powerful protective garment Thailand Vietnamese tribal shaman Mid 20th c. Cotton, ink, pigment Handmade and drawn by the shaman, it depicts prayers, signs, numbers and a deities. The sacred cloth is an undergarment worn as a talisman with great protective power against physical harm, like bullets, spears, knives, wild animals and evil spirits. This one may have been commissioned by a wealthy man who felt he needed protection. Soldiers would also wear these if they could afford one. 21” x 61” $2900
Amulet Yantra Shirt, Thailand (Vietnamese tribal shaman), Mid 20th c, Cotton, ink, pigment 

Handmade and drawn by the shaman, it depicts prayers, signs, numbers and a deities. The sacred cloth is an undergarment worn as a talisman with great protective power against physical harm, like bullets, spears, knives, wild animals and evil spirits. This one may have been commissioned by a wealthy man who felt he needed protection. Soldiers would also wear these if they could afford one. 21” x 61”, $2900. SOLD

Amulet Yantra Vest Nong Pho, Thailand Vietnamese shaman Mid to late 19th c. Cotton, pigment Handmade and drawn by the shaman It is endowed with prayers, signs, numbers and a depiction of the great guru monk Luang Phor Doem. The sacred cloth is an undergarment worn as a talisman with great protective power against physical harm, like bullets, spears, knives, wild animals and evil spirits. 19” x 22” $2,900.
Amulet Yantra Vest, Nong Pho, Thailand, (Vietnamese shaman), Mid to late 19th c. Cotton, pigment (Back view, see front image below)

 

Amulet Yantra Vest Nong Pho, Thailand Vietnamese shaman Mid to late 19th c. Cotton, pigment Handmade and drawn by the shaman It is endowed with prayers, signs, numbers and a depiction of the great guru monk Luang Phor Doem. The sacred cloth is an undergarment worn as a talisman with great protective power against physical harm, like bullets, spears, knives, wild animals and evil spirits. 19” x 22” $2,900.
(Front view) Amulet Yantra Vest, Nong Pho, Thailand, (Vietnamese shaman), Mid to late 19th c. Cotton, pigment

Handmade and drawn by the shaman. It is endowed with prayers, signs, numbers. The sacred cloth is an undergarment worn as a talisman with great protective power against physical harm, like bullets, spears, knives, wild animals and evil spirits. 19” x 22”, $2,900. SOLD

Instruments are essential tools for shaman. They create the rhythmic atmosphere that facilitates entering and maintaining the trance state necessary for the shaman to enter the spirit worlds. Cymbals Tuyen Province, Northern Vietnam Cao Lan People Late 19th to early 20th c. Bronze For welcoming divinities and warding off evil beings. The cymbals represent the turtle - legendary hero figures, who are exercised for killing monsters. (small - 3 ½” x 6 ¾’ x 6 ¾”, $400.), (large - 4” x 9 ½ x 9 ½”, $590.) Shaman/Buddhist Priest Bell, Vietnam, Black Yao people, Late 19th c, Metal coin as clapper, The handle is embellished with a human face. Used in religious rituals. Its sound is meant to evoke protective deities and dispel evil spirits. This type of bell is also used during chanting and incantations of mantras. 5” x 2 ½” x 2 ½”, $325. Round Finger Bells, Hoa Binh province, Vietnam, H’mong people, Late 19th to early 20th c, Bronze, Placed on one’s finger, the tone can be modified with the palm and remaining fingers. $90. each, (2 ½” x 1” x 1”); (2 ½” x 1” x 1”); (2 ¼” x 1” x 1”). Oboe/Flute Cao Bang province, Vietnam Red Yao people Early to mid 20th c, Wood, metal, An essential element of the musical ensembles that accompany the shaman’s rituals and performances to help the living and provide salvation for the dead. 19 ¼” x 4” x 4”, $220.
Shaman Instruments, Cymbals, Bells and Flute, Late 19th to early 20th c, wood, metal

Instruments are essential tools for shaman. They create the rhythmic atmosphere that facilitates entering and maintaining the trance state necessary for the shaman to enter the spirit worlds. (Cymbals, Bells, Flute)

Cymbals -;Tuyen Province, Northern Vietnam, Cao Lan People, Late 19th to early 20th c, Bronze. For welcoming divinities and warding off evil beings. Cymbals represent the turtle – legendary hero figures, who are exercised for killing monsters. Dimensions: (small – 3 ½” x 6 ¾’ x 6 ¾”, $400.), (large – 4” x 9 ½ x 9 ½”, $590.) SOLD

Shaman/Buddhist Priest Clapper Bell; Black Yao people, Late 19th c, Metal coin as clapper, The handle is embellished with a human face. Used in religious rituals. Its sound is meant to evoke protective deities and dispel evil spirits. This type of bell is also used during chanting and incantations of mantras. 5” x 2 ½” x 2 ½”, $325. SOLD

Round Finger Bells, Hoa Binh province, Vietnam, H’mong people, Late 19th to early 20th c, Bronze, Placed on one’s finger, the tone can be modified with the palm and remaining fingers. $90. each, (2 ½” x 1” x 1”); (2 ½” x 1” x 1”); (2 ¼” x 1” x 1”). SOLD

Oboe/Flute, Cao Bang province, Red Yao people Early to mid 20th c, Wood, metal, An essential element of the musical ensembles that accompany the shaman’s rituals and performances to help the living and provide salvation for the dead. 19 ¼” x 4” x 4”, $220. SOLD

Shaman's Court Tablet or Wand, Vietnam, Yao people, Mid to late 19th c, Wood, finely woven cotton band with glass beads. Potent tool used similarly to a Himalayan Phurba, to direct evil energy away and to summon and control spirits. Text characters are painted onto all sides. 13 ¼” x 16 ½” x ¾”, $650
Shaman’s Court Tablet, or Wand, Vietnam, Yao people, Mid to late 19th c, Wood, finely woven cotton band with glass beads

Potent tool used similarly to a Himalayan Phurba, to direct evil energy away and to summon and control spirits. Text characters are painted onto all sides. 13 ¼” x 16 ½” x ¾”, $650.

Dragon Robe (front), Shaman Priest's Costume, complete outfit; Robe, Skirt, Belt, ( Scarf see next image), Vietnam, Tao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery. Worn by shaman/priests for all ceremonies. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the universe for protection. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and child rearing, men replaced women as shaman but retained the same sacred costume. This type of headpiece/scarf is worn by postulant or newly ordained shaman. High level priests will wear a hat made of human hair. Dimensions (49” x 42” robe); (35” x 26” skirt); (106” x 3” belt); (118” x 9 ½” scarf), $3900 full costume
Dragon Robe (front), Shaman Priest’s Costume, complete outfit; Robe, Skirt, Belt, (Scarf – see next image), Vietnam, Tao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery

Worn by shaman priests for all ceremonies. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man’s place in the hierarchical order. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and child rearing, men gradually replaced women as shaman but the sacred costume remained the same. This type of headpiece/scarf (image below) is worn by postulant or newly ordained shaman. High level priests will wear a hat made of human hair. Dimensions
(49” x 42” robe); (35” x 26” skirt); (106” x 3” belt); (118” x 9 ½” scarf – below), $3900 full costume.

Shaman's Ritual Costume Headscarf (from full costume - see above image), Shaman Priest's Costume, complete outfit; Robe, Skirt, Belt and Scarf, Vietnam, Tao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery. Worn by shaman/priests for all ceremonies. (118” x 9 ½” scarf)
Shaman’s Ritual Costume Headscarf (from full costume – see above image)

 

Shaman Hat, Vietnam, Feng Yuan Fa people, Late 19th c, Human hair, pigment, Hats are a crucial part of the shaman's costume. Hats made from human hair are worn only by high level priests. Postulants and newly ordained shaman wear a cotton and silk head scarf. Human hair strands are twisted together to make thicker ones, dyed dark brown and woven into patterns. They are very difficult to make but are durable and last a long time. The symbol for good luck symbol is woven into the front of the hat and the shaman’s name into back. 9” x 10” x 2”, $675
Shaman Hat, Vietnam, Feng Yuan Fa people, Late 19th c, Human hair, pigment

Hats are a crucial part of the shaman’s costume. Hats made from human hair are worn only by high level priests. Postulants and newly ordained shaman wear a cotton and silk head scarf. Human hair strands are twisted together to make thicker ones, dyed dark brown and woven into patterns. They are very difficult to make but are durable and last a long time. The symbol for good luck symbol is woven into the front of the hat and the shaman’s name into back. 9” x 10” x 2”, $675.

Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (back), Vietnam, Late 19th to early 20th c, Dao Lan-Tien people, Early 20th century, Cotton dyed with local indigo, hand embroidered with silk, (dyed with very difficult to obtain, European dyes - indicating an exceptional piece. Worn only by high level shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. *more detailed information available. 45” x 26”, $2900.
Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (back), Vietnam, Late 19th to early 20th c, Dao Lan-Tien people, Early 20th century, Cotton dyed with local indigo, hand embroidered with silk

Worn only by high level shaman. The use of expensive and difficult to obtain brighter European dyes indicates an exceptional piece. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man’s place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. *more detailed information available. 45” x 26”, $2900. (front view below) SOLD

Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (back), Vietnam, Late 19th to early 20th c, Dao Lan-Tien people, Early 20th century, Cotton dyed with local indigo, hand embroidered with silk. Worn only by high level shaman. The use of expensive and difficult to obtain brighter European dyes indicates an exceptional piece. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. *more detailed information available. 45” x 26”, $2900. 
Dragon Robe Ritual Costume, Front view of previous Robe.

 

Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’ Wand Quang Ninh province, Vietnam, San Diu people, Early to mid 20th c, Wood with red pigment, patinated with use and age. Pan Hung is a Taoist mythical, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. This particular wand is dominantly Dragon It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits - especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. The slot on the underside is for mounting on a wall when not in use. 3” x 1” x 8”, $375.
Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’ Wand, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam, San Diu people, Early to mid 20th c, Wood with red pigment

Pan Hung is a Taoist mythical, composite beast, usually a varied mixture of Dragon, Tiger and Dog. This particular wand is dominantly Dragon. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits – especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. The slot on the underside is for mounting on a wall when not in use. 3” x 1” x 8”, $375.

Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’, Wand, Vietnam, Black Yao people, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, pigment, patinated with use and age. Pan Hung is a varied mythical, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits - especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. (small - Early 20th c, 2 ½” x 1 ¾” x 5”, $340.); (large - Mid 20th c, 3 ½” x 1 ½” x 6 ¼”, $240.) ,
Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’, Wand, Vietnam, Black Yao people, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, pigment

Pan Hung is a varied mythical, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits – especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. (small – Early 20th c, 2 ½” x 1 ¾” x 5”, $340.); (large – Mid 20th c, 3 ½” x 1 ½” x 6 ¼”, $240.)

Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’ Cat Wand, Northern Vietnam, Tay people, Mid to late 19th c. Wood with smooth patina from use and age. Pan Hung is a Taoist mythical, varied, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits - especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. 2 ¼” x 1 ¼” x 4”, $190.
Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’ Cat Wand, Northern Vietnam, Tay people, Mid to late 19th c, Wood with smooth patina from use and age

Pan Hung is a Taoist mythical, varied, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits – especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. 2 ¼” x 1 ¼” x 4”, $190. SOLD

Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’ Wand Dong Hy district, Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam Nung people, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood, pigment, patinated with use and age, Pan Hung is a Taoist mythical, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog This particular wand is dominantly Dragon. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits, especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. The slot on the underside is for mounting on a wall when not in use. 3 ¾” x 1 14” x 18”, $800.
Shaman’s ‘Pan Hung’ Wand, Dong Hy district, Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam, Nung people, Late 19th to early 20th c, Wood, pigment

Pan Hung is a Taoist mythical, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. This particular wand is dominantly Dragon. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits, especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. The slot on the underside is for mounting on a wall when not in use. 3 ¾” x 1 14” x 18”, $800.

Sacred Unicorn (Kỳ lân) Panel (rare), Vietnam, Bac Ninh province, Mid 19th c, Red cotton textile with hand embroidered silk and precious-metal-wrapped thread. One of the four sacred animals, the unicorn symbolizes purity, happiness and wealth. If the unicorn appears, many good things will happen. It is often hung over the altar table in pagodas, temples or in homes of traditional families. Its strength and faithful nature are desirable for guarding temples and places of worship. Almost all of these pieces from this time period are portrayed in blue, cream and metallic color schemes. Because of its coloring, this panel is unusual and particularly desirable. 15 ½” x 17 ½” x ¾”, $590.
Sacred Unicorn (Kỳ lân) Panel (rare), Vietnam, Bac Ninh province, Mid 19th c, Red cotton textile with hand embroidered silk and precious-metal-wrapped thread

One of the four sacred animals, the unicorn symbolizes purity, happiness and wealth. If the unicorn appears, many good things will happen. It is often hung over the altar table in pagodas, temples or in homes of traditional families. Its strength and faithful nature are desirable for guarding temples and places of worship. Almost all of these pieces from this time period are portrayed in blue, cream and metallic color schemes. Because of its coloring, this panel is unusual and particularly desirable. 15 ½” x 17 ½” x ¾”, $590.

Zhu Zhong Fan, Shaman Priest Altar Figures, Vietnam, Yao people, Mid to late 19th c, Wood, pigment, Kept in Shaman’s home. Part of necessary items to contact spirit world. Every shaman has a set of three called, Zhu Zhong Fan figures. The 3 are: To Sai - ancestor shaman priest figure; Nyut Hung - seated Mandarin or God figure; and Khong Zhao - a protecting officer or messenger to the gods. He is always mounted and brandishing a sword or pennant. They are only sacred when once they are gifted with a soul. A ceremony is performed calling for the deity or ancestor to enter the figure. A piece of silver and some threads are placed in a secret hole in the back and sealed up. This is where the soul resides. When the figure is given away or sold the silver is removed rendering the figure inert and no longer sacred. (left - 'Nyut Hung' figure, 8” x 4 ¼” x 2 ½”, $650); (middle - 'Khong Zhao' figure, 11” x 4” x 6 ¾”, $900.); (right - 'To Sai' figure,7” x 3 ¼” x 2 ½”, $650)
Zhu Zhong Fan, Shaman Priest Altar Figures, Vietnam, Yao people, Mid to late 19th c, Wood, pigment

Kept in a Shaman’s home. Part of the items required to contact the spirit world. Every shaman has a set of three ‘Zhu Zhong Fan’ figures. They are: ‘To Sai’ – an ancestor shaman priest figure; ‘Nyut Hung’ – a seated Mandarin or God figure; and ‘Khong Zhao’ – a protecting officer or messenger to the gods. He is always mounted and brandishing a sword or pennant. They are only sacred once they are gifted with a soul. A ceremony is performed calling for the deity or ancestor to enter the figure. A piece of silver and some threads are placed in a secret hole in the back and sealed up. This is where the soul resides. When the figure is given away or sold the silver is removed rendering the figure inert and no longer sacred. (left – ‘Nyut Hung’ figure, 8” x 4 ¼” x 2 ½”, $650); (middle – ‘Khong Zhao’ figure, 11” x 4” x 6 ¾”, $900.); (right – ‘To Sai’ figure,7” x 3 ¼” x 2 ½”, $650).

Shaman's Costume Tunic and Belt, Vietnam, Yao people, Late 19th c, Cotton, indigo, silk embroidery, Worn only by high level shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. *more information available. 47” x 27 ½” x 3”, $3100.
Shaman’s Costume Tunic and Belt, Vietnam, Yao people, Late 19th c, Cotton, indigo, silk embroidery

Worn only by high level shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man’s place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. *more information available. 47” x 27 ½” x 3”, $3100.

Shamanic Belt with full set of 12 Handkerchiefs, Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province, Vietnam, Tight Trouser Dao people, Early to mid 20th c. Cotton, hand embroidered with silk. Worn by shaman while performing religious rituals. A complete belt would have a minimum of 12 handkerchiefs (embroidered squares). The belt is passed down through generations, revealing its history. If a shaman has two sons or apprentices, he will spit the belt and the new shaman’s wife will make the other necessary handkerchiefs. 75” x 18” x 2 ½”, $775.
Shamanic Belt with 12 Handkerchiefs, Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province, Vietnam, Tight Trouser Dao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, hand embroidered with silk

Worn by shaman while performing religious rituals. A complete belt would have a minimum of 12 handkerchiefs (embroidered squares). The belt is passed down through generations, revealing its history. If a shaman has two sons or apprentices, he will spit the belt and the new shaman’s wife would make the other necessary handkerchiefs. Several generations are represented in this belt. 75” x 18” x 2 ½”, $775.

Handkerchief/Panel from a Shamanic Belt, Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province, Vietnam, Tight Trouser Dao people Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, hand embroidered with silk, Worn by shaman while performing religious rituals. A complete belt would have a minimum of 12 squares (handkerchiefs). The belt is passed down through generations, revealing its history. If a shaman has two sons or apprentices, he will spit the belt and the new shaman’s wife will make the other necessary handkerchiefs. $75. to $90.
Handkerchief/Panel from a Shamanic Belt, Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province, Vietnam, Tight Trouser Dao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, hand embroidered with silk

Worn by shaman while performing religious rituals. A complete belt would have a minimum of 12 squares (handkerchiefs). The belt is passed down through generations, revealing its history. $75. to $90.

Shaman's Personal Knife and Sheath, Vietnam, Yao people Late 19th c, Metal, horn, wood, 10” x 1 ½” x 1”, $580.
Shaman’s Personal Knife and Sheath, Vietnam, Yao people, Late 19th c, Metal, horn

Used in sacred rituals. 10” x 1 ½” x 1”, $580.

Shaman Medicine Flask, Thailand/Vietnam, Yao people, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, bamboo, For medicine used in healing rituals, 10” x 4” x 2 ½”, $420.
Shaman Medicine Flask, Thailand/Vietnam, Yao people, Early to mid 20th c, Wood, bamboo

To carry medicinal remedies used in healing rituals, 10” x 4” x 2 ½”, $420.

Shaman Printing Block, Tuyen Quang province, Vietnam, Mid 20th c, Printing blocks are important shaman tools for creating talismans and ghost money to burn as offerings to deities. They were stamped on paper or on envelopes to mark the contents as holy. (Top - 2 ¼” x ½’ x 5’, $110.); (Bottom, 1 ¾” x 6 ¼” x 1”, $90.)
Shaman Printing Block, Tuyen Quang province, Vietnam, Mid 20th c.

Printing blocks are important shaman tools for creating talismans and ghost money to burn as offerings to deities. They were stamped on paper or on envelopes to mark the contents as holy. (Top – 2 ¼” x ½’ x 5’, $110.); (Bottom, 1 ¾” x 6 ¼” x 1”, $90.) see image below for example of a print

Shamanic Print - Flying Horse, Vietnam, Thai Nguyen province San Diu people, Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade *Do paper from a hand carved, wooden shamanic printing block The print would be burned for carting a message to deities for protecting people against evil spirits. *Do is made from the bark of Rhamnoneuron balansae This one is for a variety of ceremonies: initiation of a shaman; fending off evil spirits; building a house or farm structure, 6 ¼” x 7 ¼” x ¾”, sold
Shamanic Print – Flying Horse, Vietnam, Thai Nguyen province, San Diu people, Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade ‘Do’ paper

Print from a hand carved shamanic printing block (see previous image). The print would be burned for carrying a message to deities for protecting people against evil spirits. ‘Do’ paper is made from the bark of Rhamnoneuron balansae tree. This one is for a variety of ceremonies: initiation of a shaman; fending off evil spirits; building a house or farm structure, 6 ¼” x 7 ¼” x ¾”, SOLD

Shamanic Print - Man Loading a Horse, Vietnam, Thai Nguyen province, San Diu people Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade *Do paper from a hand carved, wooden shamanic printing block. The print would be burned for carting a message to deities for protecting people against evil spirits. *Do is made from the bark of Rhamnoneuron balansae. This print is for worshiping the stars in an effort to relieve someone’s run of bad luck, 7” x 10 ¾” x ¾”, sold
Shamanic Print – Man Loading a Horse, Vietnam, Thai Nguyen province, San Diu people,Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade ‘Do’ paper

This print is for worshiping the stars in an effort to relieve someone’s run of bad luck, 7” x 10 ¾” x ¾”, SOLD

Shamanic Print - Tiger, Vietnam Dao Lo Gang people, Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade *Do paper from a hand carved, wooden shamanic printing block The print would be burned for carting a message to deities for protecting people against evil spirits. *Do is made from the bark of Rhamnoneuron balansae. 8” x 12” x ¾”, $55.
Shamanic Print – Tiger, Vietnam, Dao Lo Gang people, Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade ‘Do’ paper, 8″ x 12″ x 3/4″, $55.

 

Shamanic Print, Man with Horse / Man with Bird, Vietnam, Hoa Binh province,Dao Quan Chet people, Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade *Do paper from a shamanic hand carved printing block. The print would be burned for carting a message to deities for protecting people against evil spirits. *Do is made from the bark of Rhamnoneuron balansae The print would be burned for carting a message to deities for protecting people against evil spirits 7” x 10 ¾” x ¾”, $55.
Shamanic Print, Man with Horse / Man with Bird, Vietnam, Hoa Binh province,Dao Quan Chet people, Contemporary, Pigment printed on handmade paper, 7″ x 10 3/4″ x 3/4″, $55.

 

Shaman’s Stamp ‘Chop’, Northern Thailand, Mid to late 20th c, Wood, pigment, Important tool for a shaman. They are unique to a particular shaman and used as a mark of authenticity. They would be placed on a message from one shaman to another, to the deities or into the shaman’s book. $50./$60. each, Dimensions left to right: (left -2 ¾” x 2 ¼” x 3 ½”, $60.); (middle - 2 ¾” x 2” x 2 ¾”, $50.); (right - 2 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 2 ¾”, $50.)
Shaman’s Personal Stamp ‘Chop’, Northern Thailand, Mid to late 20th c, Wood, pigment

Important tool for a shaman. They are unique to a particular shaman and used as a mark of authenticity. They would be placed on a message from one shaman to another, to the deities or into the shaman’s book. $50./$60. each – Dimensions left to right: (left -2 ¾” x 2 ¼” x 3 ½”, $60.); (middle – 2 ¾” x 2” x 2 ¾”, $50.); (right – 2 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 2 ¾”, $50.)

Shaman Bag, Vietnam, Yao people, Late 19th to early mid c, Cotton and silk The shaman use this to keep and carry magic ritual items. 8” x 15” x ½”
Shaman Bag, Yao people, Late 19th to early mid c., Cotton and silk

Shaman use a bag or purse to keep and carry magic ritual items. 8” x 15” x ½”, $70.

Shaman Bag, Vietnam, Yao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, Keep and carry magic ritual items, 11” x 17” x ½”, $120.
Shaman Bag, Vietnam, Yao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton

Bag or Purse to carry magic ritual items, 11” x 17” x ½”, $120.

Ritual Dagger with Rattle, Vietnam, Yao people Late 19th c, Iron, coins, cloth These commanding rattle daggers are the most common ritual weapon used by a shaman priest. Similar in function to swords, they fend off evil spirits when shaken. The red (sometimes blue) streamers attract cosmic energy to empower it. This coin-laden top is still wound with red streamers from the ceremony it was last used in. Dimensions (left - 15” x 6 ¼” x 4 ½”); (right - 16 ½” x 5 ½” x 5”) $350. each
Ritual Dagger with Rattle, Vietnam, Yao people, Late 19th c, Iron, coins, cloth

These commanding rattle daggers are the most common ritual weapon used by a shaman priest. Similar in function to swords, they fend off evil spirits when shaken. The red streamers attract cosmic energy to empower it. The coin-laden top is still wound with red streamers from the ceremony it was last used in. Dimensions (left – 15” x 6 ¼” x 4 ½”, $350 SOLD); (right – 16 ½” x 5 ½” x 5”, $350. SOLD)

Ritual Sword, Tuyen Quang province, Vietnam, Yao people, Early 20th c, Iron blade, aluminum bands, wood handle, metal coins, darkened patina from use and age An essential item for any Yao shaman ritual. Used to summon gods and goddesses and to punish disobedient spirits. Harmless to mortals but a formidable weapon when shaken against evil spirits. This is a male sword - top detail differs on female swords. $295. each, Dimensions left to right, (left - 15 ¼” x 3 ¼” x 1”); (middle - 15 ¼” x 3 ¼” x 1”); (right -13 ¾” x 3” x 1”)
Ritual Sword, Tuyen Quang province, Vietnam, Yao people, Early 20th c, Iron blade, aluminum bands, wood handle, metal coins

An essential item for any Yao shaman ritual. Used to summon gods and goddesses and to punish disobedient spirits. Harmless to mortals, but a formidable weapon when shaken against evil spirits. This is a male sword – top detail differs on female swords. $295. each, Dimensions left to right, (left – 15 ¼” x 3 ¼” x 1” SOLD); (middle – 15 ¼” x 3 ¼” x 1” SOLD); (right -13 ¾” x 3” x 1”)

Ritual Dragon Knife, Vietnam, San Diu people Early 20th c, Iron, patinated with use and age, Used in rituals to subdue evil forces. (small - 12” x 3 ¾” x 1 ¼”, $270.); (large - 13 ¾” x 4 ½” x 1 ¾”, $270.)
Ritual Dragon Knife, Vietnam, San Diu people Early 20th c, Iron

 Ritual Dragon Knife, Vietnam, San Diu people Early 20th c, Iron, patinated with use and age, Used in rituals to subdue evil forces. (small – 12” x 3 ¾” x 1 ¼”, $270.); (large – 13 ¾” x 4 ½” x 1 ¾”, $270.)

Shaman Cloth Vietnam Yao people Early 20th c. Cotton with pigment Ritual use 13” x 14” $190
Shaman’s Amulet Cloth, Vietnam , Yao people, Early 20th c, Cotton with pigment, 13″ x 14′, $190.

 

Shaman Cloth Vietnam Yao people Early 20th c. Cotton with pigment Ritual use 13” x 14” $190
Shaman’s Amulet Cloth, Vietnam , Yao people, Early 20th c., Cotton with pigment, 13″ x 14″, $190.

 

Shaman Cloth Vietnam Yao people Early 20th c. Cotton with pigment Ritual use 13” x 15” $160
Shaman’s Amulet Cloth, Vietnam, Yao people, Early 20th c., Cotton with pigment, 13” x 15”, $160″ 

 

Shaman Cloth Vietnam Late 19th to early 20th c. Cotton Ritual use
Shaman’s Amulet Cloth, Vietnam, Late 19th to early 20th c, Cotton, 36″ x 50″

 

Shaman Costume Belt, Vietnam, Mid 20th c, Cotton, embroidered with silk, glass beads, Part of shaman’s costume. 69 ½” x 3” x 1”, $180
Shaman Costume Belt, Vietnam, Mid 20th c, Cotton, embroidered with silk, glass beads

Part of shaman’s traditional ritual costume. 69 ½” x 3” x 1”, $180. 

Dragon Tunic Ritual Costume, Vietnam, Tight Trouser Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery. Worn only by high level shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 34” x 24”, $2800
Dragon Tunic Ritual Costume, Vietnam, Tight Trouser Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery

Worn only by high level shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man’s place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 34” x 24”, $2800.

Shaman Belt, Vietnam, Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton cloth, indigo dye, Part of shaman's costume. 110” x ¾”” x ⅛”, $30
Shaman Costume Belt, Vietnam, Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, indigo

Part of shaman’s traditional costume. 110” x ¾”” x ⅛”, $30.

Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak, Vietnam, (front view) Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, indigo, silk embroidery. Worn only by high level priest/shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the universe for protection. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 49” x 29”, $2200.
Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (front view), Vietnam, Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, indigo, silk embroidery

Worn only by high level priest/shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the universe for protection. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man’s place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 49” x 29”, $2200. (see below for back view)

Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (back), Vietnam, Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, indigo, silk embroidery. Worn only by high level priest/shaman. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the universe for protection. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 49” x 29”, $2200.
Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak, Vietnam, (back view of previous image) Yao people, Mid 20th c, Cotton, indigo, silk embroidery

 

Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (front), Vietnam, Tao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery. Worn only by high level priest/shaman for all ceremonies. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the universe for protection. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 48” x 39”, $2700.
Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (front), Vietnam, Tao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery – front view, 48″ x 39″, $2700, (see below for back veiw)

 

Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (back), Vietnam, Tao people, Early to mid 20th c, Cotton, silk embroidery. Worn only by high level priest/shaman for all ceremonies. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the universe for protection. Not a vain adornment, it is a reminder of man's place in the hierarchical order. Originally a female costume. Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume. 48” x 39”, $2700.
Dragon Robe/Ritual Cloak (back view, see previous image for front view)

 

Yin Yang Divination Blocks, Vietnam, Early 20th c, Bamboo, These pairs of blocks are used by shaman to get answers to questions and requests. They are round on the yin side and flat on the yang side. They are thrown like dice. The answer is determined by the configuration of how they land: 1 yin and 1 yang side up = YES; Both the same side up = NO (also typically made of wood or horn) $175 each set. Dimensions: (right - 5” x 1 ¾” x 1 ½”); (left - 4 ¾” x 1 ½” x 1 ½”)
Yin Yang Divination Blocks, Vietnam, Early 20th c, Bamboo

These pairs of blocks are used by shaman to get answers to questions and requests. They are round on the yin side and flat on the yang side. They are thrown like dice. The answer is determined by the configuration of how they land: 1 yin and 1 yang side up = YES; Both the same side up = NO (also typically made of wood or horn) $175 each set. Dimensions: (right – 5” x 1 ¾” x 1 ½”); (left – 4 ¾” x 1 ½” x 1 ½”)

Pages from a Shamanic Book, Vietnam, Cao Lan people, Mid 20th c, Ink and watercolor handwritten on Mulberry paper, It is a book for making astrological predictions using the East Asian zodiac’s twelve animal characters. The text of the book uses images, maps and text to describe in detail, for the learned shaman, how to navigate this complex system of looking into the future. 12” x 17 ¾” x ¾”, $260.
Pages from a Shamanic Book, Vietnam, Cao Lan people, Mid 20th c, Ink and watercolor handwritten on Mulberry paper

It is a book for making astrological predictions using the East Asian zodiac’s twelve animal characters. The text of the book uses images, maps and text to describe in detail, for the learned shaman, how to navigate this complex system of looking into the future. 12” x 17 ¾” x ¾”, $260.

Shaman’s Personal Instruction Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam Red Yao people, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper (tapa), Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and Feng Shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 9 ½” x 8 ½” x ¾”, $850.
Shaman’s Personal Instruction Book, Cao Bang province, Vietnam
Red Yao people, Early 20th c, Ink on handmade mulberry paper

Written in Nom (Chinese characters adapted to Vietnamese), books are an integral part of a shaman’s repertoire. They range from explanations of various rituals and use of objects, to astrology, history, songs, laws, etiquette, children’s tales, hunting practices, formulas, spells and Feng Shui. Shaman make their own books to help store their knowledge therefore no two are alike and a high level shaman will have a large library. 9 ½” x 8 ½” x ¾”, $850.

Shaman's Personal Instructional Book, China, Yunnan Shui people, Early 20th c, Paper, ink, pigment, Scripted by the shaman, on handmade paper, to record all his knowledge and to instruct future shaman, 9” x 6 ¼” 1”, $750.
Shaman’s Personal Instructional Book, China, Yunnan Shui people, Early 20th c, Paper, ink, pigment

Scripted by the shaman, on handmade paper, to record all his knowledge and to instruct future shaman, 9” x 6 ¼” 1”, $750. (see below for inside detail)

Inside detail of Shaman's Personal Instructional Book, China, Yunnan Shui people, Early 20th c, Paper, ink, pigment, Scripted by the shaman, on handmade paper, to record all his knowledge and to instruct future shaman, 9” x 6 ¼” 1”, $750
Inside detail of Shaman’s Personal Instructional Book, China

 

Ceremonial Mask Vietnam/Thailand Early 20th c. Pigment (ink and watercolor) on handmade paper Paper masks are required possessions for shaman. Usually tied to the forehead, they are worn during certain rituals to impersonate deities. A shaman will have a full set of twenty seven. Only female shaman can wear masks of female deities. 11 ¼” x 9 ¾” x ¾” (framed) $240 each
Ceremonial Masks, Vietnam/Thailand, Early 20th c, Pigment (ink and watercolor) on handmade paper

Paper masks are required possessions for shaman. Usually tied to the forehead, they are worn during certain rituals to impersonate deities. A shaman will have a full set of twenty seven. Only female shaman can wear masks of female deities. 11 ¼” x 9 ¾” x ¾” (framed) $240 each

Horn for Drinking Spirits, Vietnam, Nghe An province, Thai people, Mid 20th c, Water Buffalo Horn, (horizontal - 11 ¾” x 2 ¼” x 5”, $160.); (vertical - 12” x 3 ¼” x 2 ¼”, $160.)
Horn for Drinking Spirits, Vietnam, Nghe An province, Thai people, Mid 20th c, Water Buffalo Horn

(horizontal – 11 ¾” x 2 ¼” x 5”, $160.); (vertical – 12” x 3 ¼” x 2 ¼”, $160.)

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Shaman Paintings, Thailand Vietnamese, Yap people Mid to late 20th c. Cotton, pigment The shaman derives spiritual power from paintings, who effectively become the deities they represent, and ritual texts that allow him/her to communicate with ancestors, negotiate with unfriendly beings and treat diseases. An essential set of three basic painting panels is the minimum requirement for a a newly initiated shaman. Full sets, required for many rituals, can range from 17 paintings to more than 27. An example of a ritual requiring a full set would be one performed to liberate souls of the dead from Hell to be reborn into Heaven. The many panels including those depicting the 10 Kings of the underworld are hung around the main room of a house. The shaman enters a trance and imagines them as the real underworld thereby entering Hell and chanting a ritual that will save the soul of the recently dead. (42"x16", $450 each banner or painting)

Shaman ritual painting, 42″ x 16″, $425.

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Nagaland and Myanmar

The Naga people are a collection of 35+ tribes, or about 3.5 million people, who live in the hills of Nagaland, India and in the bordering country of Myanmar. Their beliefs are animistic and shamanism is a respected, integral part of everyday life.

Shaman Effigy Figure, Nagaland, India, Naga tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, pigment, shell, Probably for calling spirits as well as for use in healing rituals There are 7 images on the back of creatures made by poking holes as an outline for each one. 14” x 5 ¾” x 2 ¾”, Sold
Shaman Effigy, Nagaland, India, Naga tribe, Early 20th c, Wood, pigment, shell 

This figure was used in healing rituals and probably for connecting to ancestor spirits. There are seven creature images on the backside. The creature depictions are made by poking holes as an outline for each one. 
14” x 5 ¾” x 2 ¾”, SOLD

Monkey Skull Amulet Necklace, Naga Tribe, Nagaland, India, Mid to late 19th c, Bone, horn, fiber cord, This Macaque skull and goat horn amulet was worn by the shaman for healing rituals and likely for connecting to helpful spirits. It was passed down from shaman to shaman and worn for many generations, 22” x 4 ½” x 2 ½”, $780.
Monkey Skull Amulet Necklace, Naga tribe, Nagaland, India, Mid to late 19th c, Bone, horn, fiber cord

This Macaque skull and goat horn amulet was worn by the shaman for healing rituals and likely for connecting to helpful spirits. It was passed down from shaman to shaman, worn for many generations 
22” x 4 ½” x 2 ½”, $780. SOLD

Naga Tribe, Shaman's Medicinal Mortar, Nagaland, India, Early 20th c, Carved Wood, for preparing healing medicinal herbs and substances for remedies tailored for each patient. It is carved by the shaman with power designs that relate to healing rituals. , 6 ½” x 4” x 4”, $190.
Medicinal Mortar, Nagaland, India, Early 20th c, Wood

This shaman grinding bowl is for preparing healing medicinal herbs and other substances for remedies tailored for each patient. It is carved by the shaman with power designs that relate to healing rituals. 
6 ½” x 4” x 4”, $190. 
_______________
MYANMAR

Burmese Medicine Figurine Myanmar (Burma) Late 19th c. Mixture of herbs For healing potions The Shaman makes these medicine figures only between 3:00 and 6:00 am. He will use them to chip off small bits from the bottom side with which to prepare healing elixirs for his patient. 2 1/2" to 3", Left to right - $375., $240., $395.
Burmese Medicine Blocks – Compressed Herbal Figurines, Myanmar/Burma, Late 19th c, Mixture of Dried, Pressed Herbs

These 3 figures are not Naga, but from the neighboring country of Myanmar. They are a mixture of herbs pressed into blocks and carved into figurines for healing potions/remedies. The Shaman follows precise rituals and recipes to make these medicine figures between 3:00 and 6:00 am only. 
Once pressed and detailed into the tiny figurines, the shaman will use them many times by chipping off small bits from the bottom side to prepare the appropriate mixture and dosage of healing elixirs for  patients.  2 ½” to 3″, Left to right – $375., $240., $395.

Balancing the Universe: Shamanism In Nepal

Nepal is home to many ethnic groups and religious traditions including Hinduism and Buddhism. Shamanism combines these religions with the worship of nature and natural phenomenon. There is a unique village, called “Lugum”, in Western Nepal whose only inhabitants, at the time of this writing, are 126 shaman – 18 of whom are women. In addition to their role as healers and intermediaries between the mortal and spiritual worlds, is a duty to protect the larger community around them from witches and harmful spirits, whose evil doings wreak havoc if not managed. It is the shaman’s roll to keep everything in balance to maintain the natural order of life. Scroll for images and captions of all the Nepal pieces from our “Balancing The Universe” exhibition. 9/10 – 12/3/17

Shaman Nepal

Damaru with Chopin (2 sided drum with sash), late 19th and early 20th c, Wood, Hide, Fabric
This power drum, associated with Shiva, is used for tantric rituals and is played with a twisting motion so the two beaters – attached by cords, hit the drum heads simultaneously. It produces a rhythmic and spiritual sound by which the universe was created and is regulated. The Chopin (sash) is typically embroidered with the colors of the tantric elements and waves its colors as the drum is played. It is used to attract and dispel negative energy.
(large) 32” x 11 ¼” x 4 ½”; $700.;  (small) 2” x 5 ¼” x 3” [case 6” x 5” x 3”] $500. SOLD

Not meant for stabbing or causing harm to humans, it is used to attract and dispel negative energy. After collecting the demons or evil spirits into the phurba, the shaman pierces the ground with the dagger dispersing or redirecting the harmful energy by releasing them from whatever was causing them to be evil. Still used by Buddhists and shamans in Nepal, Tibet and the Himalayas, these magical daggers date back to at least the 7th or 8th century.
Phurba – Ritual Daggers, Early 20th c, Wood / Metal.

Not meant for stabbing or causing harm to humans, it is used to attract and dispel negative energy. After collecting the demons or evil spirits into the phurba, the shaman pierces the ground with the dagger dispersing or redirecting the harmful energy by releasing them from whatever was causing them to be evil.
Still used by Buddhists and shamans in Nepal, Tibet and the Himalayas, these magical daggers date back to at least the 7th or 8th century. Please see previous ‘Phurba’ blog entry for full history and information on individual pieces – price range is $190. to $650., or contact us for more photos, availability and pricing details.

Snake Vertebrae Necklace Early 20th c. Snake Vertebrae, Rudraksha seeds Invokes snake gods to protect shaman during healing rituals
Snake Vertabrae and Rudraksha Bead Naga Mala Necklace; Early 20th c; Bone, Rudraksha Seeds

Snake vertebrae prayer bead necklace, worn by shaman to invoke snake gods to protect themselves during healing rituals. From 18″ to 33″; $290 to 370. (see detail image below)

Snake Vertebrae Necklace Early 20th c. Snake Vertebrae, Rudraksha seeds Invokes snake gods to protect shaman during healing rituals. Snake Vertebrae Necklace Early 20th c. Snake Vertebrae, Rudraksha seeds Invokes snake gods to protect shaman during healing rituals
Detail of Naga Mala necklace of snake vertebrae and rudraksha beads, early 20th c

The Naga Mala are primarily used in healing ceremonies for protection against harmful spirits and to connect the shaman with the sacred snake gods and goddesses who help inform their work. The preparation of the snake bones, and of creating the necklace itself, involves an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them. Rudraksha, meaning ‘Enlightened’, seeds symbolize divine wisdom and are traditionally used as prayer beads.                    

Shaman Yak Bell Hat Strap Nepal Bells - mid to late 19th c. Mid 20th century; some bells up to 150 years old Plant fiber, brass, cloth Worn as a chin strap to hold the shaman’s hat in place Cotton cloth covered woven fiber collar with conical and crotal bells Used in rituals to protect shaman and villagers from witches and other evil beings. Also worn for healing rituals. Some of the bells are old, hand forged iron bells; some are newer cast bronze. 18 ⅓” x 4 ½” x 1 ⅗” $395
Yak Bell Hat Strap, mid 2oth c (some bells up to 150 years old), Plant Fiber, Indgo Cloth, Brass, Iron

Worn over the head piece and under the chin to secure the shaman’s ‘hat’; Indigo dyed cotton cloth covering a woven fiber band with attached conical and crotal bells. Used in healing rituals and to protect the shaman and the villagers from witches and other evil beings. Some of the bells are newer case brass, some are old hand forged iron.
18 ⅓” x 4 ½” x 1 ⅗”; $395.

Hand carved wooden Shaman Cuff Bracelet, worn to protect the shaman from witches and harmful spirits during rituals and ceremonies. mid 19th c, wood, 3 ¼” x 4 ¼” x 5 ¼”, $120.
Shaman Cuff Bracelet, Mid 19th c, Wood

Worn by shaman during rituals and ceremonies to protect themselves from witches and harmful spirits. Hand carved wood,  3 ¼” x 4 ¼” x 5 ¼”, $120. SOLD

Naga Mala Shaman Necklace Nepal Late 19th c. Snake bone, rudraksha seeds, Himalayan goat horn, old European handmade glass trade beads, Brass crotal bells The Naga Mala are primarily used in healing ceremonies for protection and to connect the shaman with the sacred snake gods and goddesses who help inform their work. The preparation of the snake bones and necklace has an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them. The Rudraksha (enlightened) seeds symbolize divine wisdom and are traditionally used as prayer beads. The bells make a sound that evoke ancestor spirits and helps the shaman transition into a trance state for ceremonies. 22” x 7” x 1 ¾” $750
Naga Mala ritual necklace, late 19th c, bone, Himalayan goat horn, Rudraksha seeds, old European glass trade beads, iron beads, brass crotal bells

The Naga Mala are primarily used in healing ceremonies for protection and to connect the shaman with the sacred snake gods and goddesses who help inform their work. The preparation of the snake bones and of the necklace itself, involves an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them. The Rudraksha (enlightened) seeds symbolize divine wisdom and are traditionally used as prayer beads. The bells make a sound that evoke ancestor spirits and helps the shaman transition into a trance state for ceremonies., 22” x 7” x 1 ¾”, $750.

Sacred Ritual Drum, Nepal, Mid to late 19th c., Skin stretched over wood, iron, shaman bells and amulets, To facilitate entering and maintaining a trance state necessary for the shaman to perform rituals 17 ½” x 8” x 8” (plus 7” bell chains), $1400.
Sacred Ritual Drum with Bells, Mid to late 19th c, wood, hide, iron

The Yak bells and amulets facilitate entering and maintaining a trance state necessary for the shaman to perform rituals, 17 ½” x 8” x 8” (plus 7” bell chains), $1400.

Shaman Wand is a powerful shaman tool. Held in one hand while chanting, it is shaken with short, quick jerks then tapped to the ground to cleanse the area from harmful spirits.
Shaman Wand, Early 19th c., wood, metal, cotton cord, pigment

This Wand from Northwestern Nepal (near Lake Jumla) is a powerful shaman tool. Held in one hand while chanting, the shaman shakes it with short, quick jerks then taps it to the ground to cleanse the area from harmful spirits. 
28” x 11” x 3 ¼”, $650. SOLD

Hand Carved Wooden Ceremonial Shaman Stools, from the late 19th to mid 20th century, Wood, Used for meditation and for ritual ceremonies. 12" to 14", $185. to $320.
Shaman Ceremonial Stools; Late 19th to mid 20th c; wood

Hand carved wood. They are used to sit slightly elevated off the ground for meditation and for ritual ceremonies.
12″ to 14″, $185. to $320.

Hand Carved Wooden Ceremonial Shaman Stools, from the late 19th to mid 20th century, Wood, Used for meditation and for ritual ceremonies, Mid 19th to early 20th century, 8" to 14", $95. to $190.
Shaman Stools, late 19th to mid 20th c, Wood

Hand Carved Wooden Ceremonial Shaman Stools. They are used to sit slightly elevated off the ground for meditation and for ritual ceremonies, Mid 19th to early 20th century, 8″ to 14″, $95. to $190.

Shaman Necklace (rare), Western Nepal, Late 19th c., Old European handmade glass trade beads, Brass crotal bells, snake bone, paint The pair of unusually large snake vertebrae are from a 20 foot anaconda. They have been painted green. The preparation of the snake bones and necklace has an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them. The bell amulets make a sound that helps the shaman transition into a trance state in preparation for a ceremony., 13” x 3 ¾” 1 ½”, $875.
Ritual Necklace with Rare Large Anaconda Snake Bone, Western Nepal, Late 19th c, painted bone, brass, glass and quartz beads

This sacred shaman necklace is particularly rare because of the size of the snake vertebrae used. It is colorfully detailed with the old European handmade glass trade beads and old clear quartz beads, and the age and use worn small brass crotal bells. The pair of unusually large snake vertebrae are from a 20 foot anaconda. They have been painted green. The preparation of the snake bones and the necklace itself involves an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them. The bell sound helps the shaman transition into a trance state in preparation for a ceremony and the snake bone connects them to ancestral spirits. 13” x 3 ¾” 1 ½”, $875. SOLD

Naga Mala Shaman Necklace, Nepal, Late 19th c., Rudraksha seeds, snake vertebrae, ribbed Himalayan goat horn, wild boar tusks, iron tube beads, crotal bells and old European glass trade beads, wooden beads The Naga Mala are primarily used in healing ceremonies for protection and to connect the shaman with the sacred snake gods and goddesses who help inform their work. The preparation of the snake bones and necklace has an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them, The Rudraksha (enlightened) seeds symbolize divine wisdom and are traditionally used as prayer beads, 22” x 7 ½” x 1 ¼”, $690.
Naga Mala, Ritual Necklace, Late 19th c, Rudraksha seeds, snake vertebrae, Himalayan goat horn, wild boar tusks, iron, brass, glass trade beads, wood beads

The Naga Mala, primarily used in healing ceremonies, are for the shaman’s protection and to connect them with the  snake gods and goddesses who help inform their work. The preparation of the snake bones and the necklace itself involve an intricate sacred ritual to properly empower them., The Rudraksha, meaning ‘enlightened’, seeds symbolize divine wisdom and are traditionally used as prayer beads. 22” x 7 ½” x 1 ¼”, $690.

Dhyango with Phurba Handle Sacred Ritual Drum, Nepal Early 19th
Dhyango with Phurba Handle – Ritual 2 Sided Drum Drum, Early 19th c, Hide, Wood

Played by shaman (Jhakri), with a curved stick, to facilitate entering and maintaining the shaman’s trance state for their journey into the spirit world. A deity will often reside in the drum during the ritual. 26″ x 14″ x 6′, $900.

Shaman Ritual Apron Belt, Nepal, Early 20th c., (some bells up to 150 years old), Leather, iron chain and hand crafted crotal, and cylindrical bells and bangles, brass conical bells, cowrie shell, goat horn, wild boar tusk, (it is a waist belt with hanging bells and over the shoulder cross straps). Used in rituals to protect shaman, villagers and the area from witches and other evil beings. 58” x 32” x 3”, $3200
Ritual Apron Belt, Early 20th c, Leather, Iron, Brass, Horn, Tusk, Shell (some bells up to 150 years old)

This large belt is an essential part of all Nepalese shaman costumes. The belt, or apron, is heavy and loud with the many parts: hide leather, iron chain and hand crafted crotal, and cylindrical bells and bangles, and the brass conical bells. The cowrie shells, goat horn and wild boar tusk are all symbolic and spiritual tools. They are used in rituals to protect shaman, villagers and the area from witches and other evil beings. (it is a waist belt with hanging bells and over the shoulder cross straps). 58” x 32” x 3”, $3200.

This large belt is an essential part of all Nepalese shaman costumes. The belt/apron is heavy and loud with all its many parts: hide leather, iron chain and hand crafted crotal, and cylindrical bells and bangles and the brass conical bells. The yak hair and other amulets all are symbolic and spiritual tools. Used in rituals to protect shaman, villagers and the area from witches and other evil beings. (it is a waist belt with hanging bells and over the shoulder cross straps), 44” x 33” x 3”, $3200
Ritual Apron Belt, Early 20th c (some bells up to 150 years old), Leather, Iron, Brass, Yak hair

An essential part of Nepalese shaman costumes, this heavy apron belt is made of hide leather, iron chain and hand crafted cylindrical bells and bangles, brass conical and crotal bells. The yak tail, and other amulets which are attached, are powerful spiritual tools. They are worn during rituals and ceremonies to protect the shaman, the villagers, and the area from witches and other evil beings. (it is a waist belt with hanging bells and over the shoulder cross straps), 44” x 33” x 3”, $3200.

Shaman Bell and Amulet Necklace, Nepal, Early 20th c., Iron chain, brass conical bells, leather, cowrie shell The leather Amulet with the four cowrie shells is an addition to the bell necklace. Shamans wear them to facilitate entering a trance state. Makes a nice sound when worn or hung in the wind. The sound represents a caravan of yaks coming down a mountain creating a magical link to their ancestors who migrated over the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal, 28 ½” x 3 ¼” x 1”, $295
Shaman Amulet and Bell Necklace, Early 20th c, Iron, Brass, Leather, Shell

This leather amulet with the four cowrie shells and brass conical bells on a chain, is a sacred ritual necklace is worn to facilitate entering a trance state. The bells make a nice sound when worn or hung in the wind, that represents a caravan of yaks coming down a mountain, creating a magical link to their ancestors who migrated over the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal, 28 ½” x 3 ¼” x 1”, $295.

Shaman Bell and Amulet Necklace, Nepal, Early 20th c.,Shaman Bell and Amulet Necklace, Nepal, Early 20th c., Leather Amulet with the four cowrie shells and brass conical bells on a chain, is a sacred ritual necklace is worn to facilitate entering a trance state. The bells make a nice sound when worn or hung in the wind. The sound represents a caravan of yaks coming down a mountain creating a magical link to their ancestors who migrated over the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal, 28 ½” x 3 ¼” x 1”, $295
Shaman Amulet and Bell Necklace, Early 20th c, Iron, Brass, Leather, Shell

This leather amulet with the four cowrie shells and brass conical bells on a chain, is a sacred ritual necklace is worn to facilitate entering a trance state. The bells make a nice sound when worn or hung in the wind, that represents a caravan of yaks coming down a mountain, creating a magical link to their ancestors who migrated over the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal, 28 ½” x 3 ¼” x 1”,$295.

Shaman Yak Bell, Chain Necklace, Nepal, Early 20th c., Iron, brass Shamans wear them to facilitate entering a trance state necessary for their practice. Makes a nice sound when worn or hung in the wind. The sound represents a caravan of yaks coming down a mountain creating a magical link to their ancestors who migrated over the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal, 15" to 21", $230. to 290.
Ritual Yak Bell, Chain Necklace, Early 20th c, Iron, Brass, Bronze

Shaman wear loud bells to facilitate entering a trance state necessary for their practice. Makes a nice sound when worn or hung in the wind, that represents a caravan of yaks coming down a mountain, creating a magical link to their ancestors who migrated over the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal, 15″ to 21″, $230. to 290. SOLD

Ritual Chain (and Yak Bell) Necklace, Early 20th c, Iron, Brass

Part of the shaman’s costume worn during rituals and ceremonies to protect them from witches and harmful spirits. Bells and amulets are often attached to the chain. 15″ to 21″, $110. to $130.