Hornbill Offering Dish
Iban Dayak people, Rumah Nanga Jilat, Sungai Enkari, (2nd Division), Sarawak, North Borneo
19th/early 20th century
Wood, pigments, metal inlays, cording
L: 21 in :: 53.34 cm
A delightful offering dish in the form of a hornbill or kenyalang. Hornbills are sacred birds among the Iban Dayak of Borneo. They foretell omens and express the will of the ancestors. Here the form of the bird is combined with that of a canoe to propitiate ancestral connections. Offerings, carvings of miniature paddles were also placed inside the bird as such carvings were once hung just outside of the main door to a family’s bilek or personal apartment to protect its inhabitants.
Inventory # 103525
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