Global Art & Artifacts

Huge Magical / Mystical Container Naga Morsarang, Horn & Bone. Toba Batak, Northern Sumatra Indonesia

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

This container goes far beyond the common tempat obat (medicine) container into a world of ritual arts, divination, curing ceremonials or malevolent magic.  Purveyors of religious and medical practices (called Datu) used a variety of carved containers to store herbs, medicines and paraphernalia.   With that said, this is an extremely rare Naga Morsarang.

Unlike the more common Naga Morsarangs with the carved buffalo horn (with a seated human figure at its tip) connected to an elaborate wood stopper depicting a singa (supernatural creature) with human figures riding on its back…. this 39” wide (91.1 cm) container is huge and very rare!

The creature (most likely a Naga) is carved for deer horn and skull bone.  There are seven pieces with the tail and head pieces linked together with a bone pin.  Two Toba warriors form two lids to the container portion.

The Toba Batak people of northern Sumatra are famous for the variety and shear number of religious, ancestral and ritualistic arts and artifacts.

I was so awestruck by this piece that during its photography session, I spent an additional 20 minutes just looking at the detail and wondering about the carver’s intentions and eventual use of this magnificent piece.

For the Serious Collector.

This item has been sold.  Thanks  M.S.  !!


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Bowls, Boxes, Bells, Gongs, Medicine Holders. Containers not considered vessels
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