Indiana University Indiana University IU

Culture Dayak
Title Figure (Hampatong)
Date First half of the 20th century
Medium Wood, cowrie shells, and and white and brown lime and fungal deposit
Dimensions Object: 53 11/16 × 5 9/16 × 2 7/16 in. (136.4 × 14.1 × 6.2 cm)
Overall (includes mount): 53 15/16 × 7 7/8 × 7 7/8 in. (137 × 20 × 20 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 86.17

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About this Work

Ancestral figures, generically called hampatong, are found among many Dayak, a general name applied to the indigenous peoples of Borneo. Ranging in style from rounded, naturalistic figures to relatively flat, stylized examples such as this one, they traditionally serve both protective and commemorative purposes. In some areas, the figures are placed in front of homes; elsewhere they are housed in shrines. No matter its location a hampatong both honors an ancestor and enlists the spirit of the deceased to ensure prosperity for the living.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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Cite this Page
"Figure | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.