Male ancestor figures from the small island of Atauro carved in a cubic style with a forward sloping shoulder posture. Such figures are created for the worship of ancestors, guardian spirits and Meromak, the culture’s supreme deity. The figures are prominent at rites to ensure communal fertility, individual wellbeing and control of the weather. Male figures have the power to reduce the strength of the destructive monsoonal west wind. The female is the protector of the east, from which the sun rises and nourishes life and crops. Pairs of such figures were hung from house rafter, often with the cord that tied them together as in this case. The cubic form and its affinities with modern sculpture, have made Atauro figures highly sought after by collectors.Ex. Mark Felix, (Belgiuim), Philippe Guimiot (Belgium), Alain Schoffel (France), and Michael Auliso (US).
Exhibited: “The Sculptures of Atauro Island”, Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, March 17-15 July 2017