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house postsculpture_tribal_aitos_statue

House Post Fragment
Kuanfatu Village
South Central Timor
Mid 20th C

Kuanfatu material is sparse in style and quantity.  It is generally
minimalist, raw and completely unpretentious.

 A harsh place, the population has always
been on the sparse side.  Poor soil, little water, sea going crocodiles, cerebral malaria and waterborne illnesses regularly take
their toll.  Staying alive is a full time job and when the droughts hit,  this area that always gets hit first and has the longest, harshest famines.

The house post has been cut - original height 67 inches - it happens. In doing so the nature of the material has been exposed. Wood species unknown on this one but it is extremely hard and has a two tone grain which resembles "tiger wood".

48" X 7" X 8"


Aitos Sculpture

The Aitos is the most important of the ritual carvings found in Timor. "Aitos" means "distant ancestor" and describes a cylindrical offering post erected in the compound to honor the ancestors. Aitos are the oldest, most powerful and distant of the ancestors, Foho - interned ancestors and Lor - the recently departed. Aitos sculptures do not have feet.

. During "high adat" ceremonies it is dressed in "Meo" warrior's attire and offerings of betel nut and sirih are placed in a special box at the base of the sculpture. Depending on the purpose and gravity of the ceremony an animal sacrifice is common. Most frequently a chicken of a specific color or sometimes a pig. This is followed by the reading of the entrails, prayers for guidance, blessings and luck. The sacrificed animal is then prepared for the feast.








Aitos Sculpture

38" X 6" X 5"
2.2 kg








Insana District
North Central Timor
Pterocarpus Indicus Wood

Wonderful patina on this sculpture which measures :
36" X 4.5" X 5"
5 kg

Heavily weathered and part of the inside is worn away - if you would like to see more detailed shots of this or any other of the pieces just e-mail:

cultural treasures at uniserve.com


aitos kayu mera
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