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Orang Ulu Baby Carrier
sarawak06
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This particular baby carrier belonged to the aristocrats of the Orang Ulu in central Borneo. Specifically the Kayan/Kenyah people. Characteristics of a baby carrier made for aristocrats can be seen through the attached beaded panel, claws or animal teeth, and a motif depicting a full human figure. It is said that non-aristocratic people are not allowed to use these types of baby carriers as the potent-power is considered too unbearable for them.

History of the Object
A baby carrier (ba’) is described as a reed work basket that opens on one side which is purposely made to carry a baby. It is used particularly by the Orang Ulu of central Borneo. Baby carriers are usually embellished with fine beadwork which defines an individual’s social status and identity. Designs such as a tiger, dragon, hornbill, and a full human figure normally reflects a person who is an aristocrat. The attachment of objects, such as teeth, snail, shell, beads or tusks, are clumped together to create a 'clacking' sound. The sound is thought to cast evil spirits away. Normally, the number of teeth attached indicates the gender of the baby. An odd number signifies a female and an even number signifies a male baby.

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Type
Architecture 
Materials
Rattan, Wood, Beads, Bone. 
Measurements
 
Creator name
Orang Ulu People 
Creator date
20th century 
Where it was made
Sarawak 
Geography
Malaysian Borneo 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
 
Function
Carries a baby (age 2 to 3) 
Acquisition
 
Copyright
Creative Commons, CC. 
Acknowledgements
Heidi Munan, Faridah Sahari, H.L. & P.R. Whittier 
Owner
Sarawak State Government 
Museum
Sarawak Museum 
Credit line
 

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