Featured Oceana wood carving mystery?

Discussion in 'Tribal Art' started by a_curious_curiosity, May 21, 2019.

  1. a_curious_curiosity

    a_curious_curiosity New Member

    So that's my best guess, but my mind could be changed! I picked this up at an estate sale recently because the price was just too good to resist. I've dug around a bit in search of an origin, and i'm 51% confident that this is from Oceana, possibly PNG? I have no idea whatsoever on age. Lots more interesting items to come soon- it's been a great couple of weeks! Thanks in advance for any help solving this mystery!

  2. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    those round carvings , to my eye...are chinese coins........so i'll venture Nepal as a place to look 1st !
  3. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Welcome, curiosity.
    It is Bahau Dayak, from Kalimantan/Borneo, Indonesia. Indonesia is the bridge between Asian and Oceanic cultures, so you were pretty close.
    The mask part is based on a Bahau Dayak mask. Bahau masks often have those very big flat eyes. I think this is a decorative piece, not traditional but using traditional motifs and styles.
    There are many Chinese in Borneo, and old Chinese cash coins are used throughout Indonesia. So the use of cash coin decorations or imagery, round with a square hole representing heaven and earth, is not unusual.

    Bahau mask:
    http://www.tribalartasia.com/Tribal Art Asia Dayak Tribe/DAYAK 4/DAYAK NEW MASK.html
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    Figtree3, Dawnno, Jivvy and 5 others like this.
  4. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum, a_curious_curiosity ! :)
  5. a_curious_curiosity

    a_curious_curiosity New Member

    Fantastic! Thanks so much for your help. I agree that it's contemporary (well, at least not old) and decorative. The wood appears to be aged, but very evenly so, and has no signs of decay or abrasion.

    Any Jewelry likes this.
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