Ancestor Figure, Leti
Leti Islands, Moluccas, Indonesia, 19th century
Height : 14,5 cm
Provenance : Bruce Frank, New York
Private collection, Paris
Publication : "KunstKammer", (M. Doustar, 2017), n°42
Throughout the Moluccas archipelago in eastern Indonesia, ancestor images indicated important links between the living and the dead. Small seated ancestor figures -called yene-depicted recently deceased family members and served as a vessel in which his or her spirit resided temporarily before departing for the land of the dead and to which it periodically returned to receive offerings or be consulted about important matters. On Leti Island, the pose of yene indicated the gender and status of the deceased. Male ancestors were shown seated with the legs drawn in to the body, and female ancestors were depicted with the legs crossed.
This exquisite little figure shows all the typical characteristics of Leti figurative statuary, around head with a long beaked nose, the body seated on a pedestal and arms crossed over bent knees. The eyes have the shape of small glass beads and the ears resemble seashells. The dark brown patina presents remnants of black paint.
Price : on request