VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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The Oracle with a Cock under a Basket
CBL Sum 1127
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This collection of spells and oracles begins by describing a type of divination in which a cock is kept under a basket for some time and then released on to the village square. The soothsayer makes his predictions by observing its behaviour.

History of the Object
The Batak people of Sumatra traditionally made books from the inner bark of the alim tree.

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Type
Book 
Materials
Bark with ink and earth pigments 
Measurements
Width 12,0 cm. Height 22,5 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; Sumatra 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
19th Century -20th Century 
Function
Collection of spells and oracles 
Acquisition
Purchased privately 
Copyright
(c) Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The Chester Beatty Library 
Museum
The Chester Beatty Library 
Credit line
Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library 

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