The largest sculptures of the Iban people of northwestern Borneo are stylized images representing the rhinoceros hornbill (kenyalang), a large forest bird whose beak is surmounted by a horn-like projection, typically depicted, as here, as a spiral form. In Iban cosmology, hornbills are associated with the upper world and formerly, with warfare and headhunting.
Collected from the many villages in the Sri Aman Division approximately 200km from Kuching City, these whimsical wood carved ‘toys’ are lovingly created by fathers for their children, a skill that is fast disappearing with the onset of modernity.
Myanmar or Burma has had a long history of puppetry and especially famous is the Mandalay Marionettes. Master puppeteers breathe life into these fabulously crafted puppets, a performance not to be missed when visiting Myanmar.
Wayang Golek are wooden doll puppets that are operated from below by rods connected to the hands and a central control rod that runs through the body to the head. The simple construction of the puppets belies their versatility, expressiveness and aptitude for imitating human dance.
This beautiful antique Bullock Cart was acquired from a Burmese family in Bagan. Used more than a century ago, this impressive work of art has been hidden away in the family’s backyard garage for decades until now.
The Bullock Cart is still an important means of transport by the rural peoples of Burma. Exquisitely handmade out of fine Burmese Teak in a little village on the outskirts of the magnificent ancient capital of Bagan,