Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Priest’s Horn (Naga Morsarang)

This horn was owned by a datu, a powerful male ritual specialist trained in divination, healing, and sorcery, which he practiced for the benefit of his community. Many of these activities required particular materials, medicines, or potions, which were kept in containers such as this. The sculptor carefully carved a seated figure at the tip and embellished the top edge of the horn with a carved snake and the wooden stopper with a carved lion head.

Batak peoples (Toba subgroup)
Sumatra, Indonesia
Priest’s Horn (Naga Morsarang)
Late 19th or early 20th century (?)
Wood, buffalo horn
L. 23 ½ in. (59.2 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 77.13