Tribal art > Art of the world > Batak Head
Ex Italian tribal art collection.
The traditional arts of Western Indonesia are generally marked by the influence of Islam, Buddhism, and Balinese Hinduism. Thus Sumatra, among the islands of Southeast Asia, has inherited Asian theatrical traditions. It is here through an idealized naturalism that this sculpted head puppet shows the link between the human community and that of the ancestors. The delicacy of the features suggests in this case that it would be a character of high rank, whose peaceful and benevolent physiognomy is veiled by a subtle frown.
By transmitting the perception of beauty, the Batak of North Sumatra excel in the art of sculpture. The puppets and heads si galegale stem from a funerary tradition where the carved object replaces, when necessary, the ...