Pierre Nachbaur

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PIPE END IN THE SHAPE OF A MYTHICAL ANIMAL (MAKARA)

Central Borneo / 18th century or older / Wood / 13 cm

Although little studied or acknowledged the presence of early Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms, dating back to at least the 4th century have had a profound but subtle impact on the arts of the Dayak natives who inhabit the interiors. This example is remarkable because it is clearly directly inspired by the makara (a mythological half dragon, have elephant snouted beast) spouts found on Hindu and Buddhist temples. The snout of the beast arches up and the sides are decorated with early Hindu and Buddhist motifs. While similar pieces are usually used as stoppers for bamboo containers used for holding magical substances, the hole in this piece suggests that it was used as a pipe.