Carved head (nat)

Description
This early carving depicts the spirit of a mountain deer. The belief in nats, or nature spirits, dates back to the 11th century. Nat simply means ‘lord’, and different nats had dominion over pieces of land, or the people of a village.

This carving is an example of tourist art. It’s based on traditional masks worn for Ramayana performances. However, because of their appeal, decorative carvings of these masks were mass produced from the late 19th century for Western consumers.
Accession Loan No.
100/1993/1
Collection Class
Souvenirs
Common Name
carved head (nat)
Simple Name
carving
Full Name
carved head of a nat (spirit)
Dimensions
whole height 514 mm; whole width 385 mm
Production Year Low
1860s
Production Year High
1993
Production Country
Myanmar (Burma)
Production Area Region
South-East Asia
Production Continent
Asia
Family Group

Material
antlers (rusa species); leather; quartz; pigment
Function Name
likely protective device
Collection Area Region
SE
Collection Continent
Asia

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