Ancestral Shrine Guardian Figure, Katingan Dayak Group, Central Kalimantan, Borneo Island
length 47in (119.5cm)
carved from hard wood in five pieces, the wings and tail decorated with botanical motifs; varied light-brown patina with traces of pigments.
This figure (called "Tering") was positioned on top of an ossuary or shrine to protect and assist the ancestor on their journey to the afterlife. The assemblage represents the morphing of two powerful protective figures: a dragon or water snake (symbols of the Under World) with the wings of a sacred hornbill (symbol of the Upper World).