Debatu Idup Pair of Fertility/Protector Figures 31035
Batak. Sumatra
Wood, braided hair, metal
19th Century or earlier, ex Dr. Jamaludin Hasibuan Collection
12 in/30 cm


This is an extremely rare pair of sculptures, formerly in the collection of the famed Batak psychiatrist, Dr. Jamaludin Hasibuan. He studied the heritage of his people and wrote "Batak Art and Culture" first published in English in 1982. This pair was published therein on page 64. He writes, and I quote, "Debat Idup translates as the "Living God" or Supreme God Mula jaai na Bolon called upon by all Bataks in case of sterility of their wives. These figures must be worshiped by the husband and wife in a special ritual in order to conceive."