ITEM 12880

Guardian Figure, Bahan

Khas People, Bajura district, Nepal
19th century or earlier
Wood, glass eyes
26 in / 66 cm

These figures served as village and household guardians in the far west of Nepal. Commonly mislabeled “spring figures,” they arise from a different cultural impulse than that of “primitive” black-patinated masking tradition found more to the east, often developing a thick smoked interior patina or heavily eroded surface from exterior exposure. They can be squatting or standing, but always have the arms up, hands together, as in prayer. This is a superb example, an archetypal expression of this unique art form.

Ex Private French Collection
Published: Cortes, Jean-Luc, La Statuaire Primitive de L’Ouest du Népal, 2011