Detail Views

A rare old, nicely weathered wooden guardian figure from the Jajarkot area of West Nepal. Such guardian figures were placed at shamanic shrines, springs, bridges and cross roads where they assumed the duty of fending off malevolent entities and other dangers, which tend to congregate in such areas. This one is an example of the "bacha bokne", or child carrying, genre of primitive wooden figures. The hands are shown with the palms together in the "namaskar" gesture of reverence and greeting. The face is primitively carved with terse, angular lines. The figure is rendered in a crouching squat - and this position with a baby bundled on the back, with mother squatting in a moment of ease and rest is a common sight across the middle hills, and in that sense the figure is "one of their own" - a familiar, and friendly guardian met at the spring or while crossing a bridge.

Those with more than a passing familiarity with tribal art will note the similarity of these Nepalese primitive wooden figures to similar pieces from the Indonesian Archipelago, some areas of Oceania, and a strong semblance to the Ifugao Bulul and Luzon Anito figures of the Philippines. These types of cross cultural parallels among peoples separated by vast geographic distances are very interesting. It brings to mind the concept of subconscious archetypes that are an innate psychological component of humanity, and which therefore reveal themselves with only minor variation amongst groups separated in both time and space. I think this is why so many of us are attracted to tribal / primitive art - it strikes a very deep chord within our being. We connect with our common humanity, and sense something closer to essence - uncorrupted by generations of urban domestication and an overdeveloped material environment - the "affliction of comfort" so many of us in the west are stricken with. We catch a glimpse of our own reflection, but an untamed and raw likeness, that refreshes and invigorates us.



ITEM NAME:   Primitive wood figure
PRICE:   Email 
PEOPLE/REGION:   Far west Nepal




early to mid 20th c


17" high X 7" wide

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