VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Iban Door
sarawak04
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This door is carved with a two-tailed crocodile and python figures, reptiles of immense power in the spirit world for the Iban people. It is used as a protection against spirits or individuals with evil intent who tries to enter a bilik (room) in the longhouse. The small frog figures carved at the mouth of these powerful reptile spirits serves as 'food' for the them. It was believed that if no 'food' was served to these hungry spirits, they would then turn to feast on the people who lived in that particular bilik.

History of the Object

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Type
Architecture 
Materials
 
Measurements
Thickness 2.8 cm 
Creator name
Iban People 
Creator date
 
Where it was made
Sarawak 
Geography
Malaysian Borneo 
Time period
- BCE 
Creation date
19th to 20th century 
Function
Door to a bilik (room) in a longhouse. 
Acquisition
 
Copyright
Creative Commons, CC. 
Acknowledgements
Atelier Society ‘Sarawak Cultural Legacy: a living tradition’ 
Owner
Sarawak State Government 
Museum
Sarawak Museum 
Credit line
Photo Credit: Brad Flowers 

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