TRIBAL & ASIAN ART AND ANTIQUITIES
FEATURED ITEM • PS00016 • GUARDIAN MONKEY

Primary Source at Santa Monica Tribal Arts Show, November 2007

4847 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA • 90016

Telephone 323.732.6131 Facsimile 323.732.6306

PSW00016
GUARDIAN MONKEY.
IRONWOOD. PATINA OF OUTDOOR EXPOSURE & LICHEN GROWTH.
KANTU DYAK TRIBE, WEST KALIMANTAN (BORNEO).
CIRCA 1900 - 1920.

HEIGHT ON STAND: 27.0”
HEIGHT OF SPECIMEN: 22.5”

In the early nineteen eighties, about twenty Monkey Guardians surfaced in Indonesia for the first time. Most of these statues were so severely eroded and weathered by the harsh tropical environment that the monkey form was almost indiscernible. This particular Monkey, now in Los Angeles, is the most complete in terms of condition of any known specimen. At one time, it had an ironwood tail that was inserted in the hollow cavity at the rear of the statue, but this has since fallen away to be lost on the jungle floor. The statue was most probably part of a tall post, which was cut away for easy transport by river out of the sacred area where it resided.

The figure is crouching in readiness to spring into action. There is a smile contained in the open mouth which appears to be lizardlike. The surface of the wood has a wonderful white patina due to the growth of lichen which flourished in the damp jungle environment. This white surface makes the wood appear almost like stone.

There are no illustrations in the extensive literature on Borneo Art of the Monkey statue because of the rarity and recent discovery of this type of totem. In the Reference Section, there are other examples of the Kantu Dyak sculpture, but of a human form. Notice that the Monkey is standing on a smaller figure that is formed of a simple mask or face.

The statue is expertly mounted on a polished brass base which has a dark patina.

PENDING

Other specimens may be available. Inquire.

 

Guardian Monkey

Guardian Monkey Side 1

Guardian Monkey Side 2

Guardian Monkey Face

Primary Source © 2008