Hornbill Offering Dish, Kenyalang
Iban Dayak people, Rumah Nanga Jilat, Sungai Enkari, Second Division Sarawak, North Borneo
19th/early 20th century
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 further evince ancestral connection. Offerings, carvings of miniature paddles were also placed inside the bird. The image was hung just outside of the main door to a family’s bilek or communal living area to bless and protect its inhabitants.
Inventory # 102506