VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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baby-carrier bënning
70.2001.27.215
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This baby carrier is made up of two joined parts - a semicircular base and a rounded back. Its decoration in high relief is very skilfully executed around three heart-shaped faces with lozenge mouths and large round shell inlaid eyes. Other pieces of shell are inlaid here and there, making it difficult to discern the details of the decoration. Under the faces are arms and legs, non-articulated, and transformed into short commas. The shape is very sure, combining high and low relief.

History of the Object
Baby carriers reflect social rank and privilege. The decoration on the carriers are considered protective because they attract the infant's soul which is believed to be only loosely connected to the body at birth.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
hard wood, shells 
Measurements
Width 41 cm Length 33 cm  
Creator name
Kenyah sub-group 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; Borneo; Kalimantan; central west region 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; early 
Function
Baby carrier 
Acquisition
Formerly in the Henri Kamer collection, and then Barbier-Mueller collection, Geneva. Acquired by the museum in 2001.  
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Musée du quai Branly. 
Museum
Musée du quai Branly 
Credit line
 

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