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Lidded Pot

Artist/Maker: Batak people (Indonesia)

Date: 20th century
Medium: wood, pigment and plant fiber
Overall: 14 3/8 x 7 7/8 x 9 1/2 in. (36.5 x 20 x 24.1 cm)
Classification: Containers
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Bernard M. Wagner
Object number: 2004.62.2
DescriptionThe equestrian figure carved as the handle of the lid on this blackened wooden pot suggests that it belonged to a datu or priest-diviner and was probably used to contain pupuk (magical substances used in various rituals). The relief carving on the sides of the container may illustrate a myth or various proverbs. The enigmatic imagery consists of four pairs of figures: a dancing (?) man confronting a standing woman, a crouching figure with a bulbous nose confronting a seated dog-like animal, a farmer (?) wearing a hat and carrying a hoe facing another dog-like animal, and a buffalo being herded by a pot bellied man. The carving style of this container has a somewhat crude, almost playful quality found widely in Indonesia and the Philippines on utilitarian objects and wherever narrative rather than iconic imagery is used.
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