Pierre Nachbaur

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BRONZE DRAGON ("ASO")

West Borneo, Sarawak people / 19th century or older / Lost wax casting / 6 x 6 cm

This dragon ("Aso") figure was part of a bronze chain that was used to suspend a gong. Collected in the field in late 70's (Sungai Katibas, Sarawak, West Borneo) from an Iban longhouse. It was probably made by Brunei craftsmen sometime in the 19th century or older. Before the use of hard currency the barter system was the primary way to buy anything. The Europeans, Chinese, Arabs, and other traders would bring bronze objects, porcelains, textiles, etc., to trade for jungle products such as rottan and a wide variety of medicinal products that the local Dayaks harvested from the jungle.

Provenance: Michael Palmieri