Bornean Ancestral Figure
Broadly known as 'hampatong', anthropomorphic figures such as this example are widespread among the various tribes of the Dayak (indigenous Borneo) people.
These figures typically represent the recently deceased and are believed to act as temporary homes for the souls of the dead. They also had a protective function, believed to defend households against the onset of disease. As such these beautifully carved figures have an other-worldly yet benevolent presence.