Double click image to enlarge

Powerful Hampatong, Dayak Kalimantan (Borneo), 18th century but probably older

Powerful Hampatong, Dayak Kalimantan (Borneo), 18th century but probably older

  • Country: Indonesië
  • Island: Kalimantan (Borneo)
  • Tribe: Dayak people
  • Period: 18th century but probably much older
  • Material: eroded hard wood with nice patina
  • Size: 150 cm
Object number: G22003
€ 9.500,00
More from : Indonesia

  • This beautifull and powerful ‘hampatong’ has large deep set eyes, is finely and carefully crafted and had originally two horizontally projecting arms, inserted to the left and right and are obviously lost. It's also exposed to fire as parts are charred but has no smell of smoke so the firing must have been long time ago.

  • In the book "C-14 dating of Dayak Art" of Thomas Murray there are 2 similar hampatong which are 700 to 800 years old according to the C-14 tests. See pictures of the book and the similar statues.
  • For the interested collector we can have this statue C-14 dated.
  • ‘Hampatong’ is the term which is used for ancestor and protective figures made of hard ‘iron wood’. These figures the Dayak of Borneo set up at burial places as memorial sculptures in honour of the dead, in front of their longhouses as guardians or as territory marker.

  • This sculpture hence belongs to the group of ‘hampatong pantak’, responsible for the protection of the village against evil spirits. The gesture of the arms stretched out to the left and to the right refers to a ritual dance of the Dayak, in which with similar movements good, helpful spirits are invited to visit the Dayak.
  • The general name Dayak includes all the peoples native to the inland area of the island of Borneo, who principally settled in the Sarawak and Kalimantan regions. 
  • To get to know more about the Dayak, follow the link:


  • Among the most important artistic Dayak creations are anthropomorphic sculptures known as hampatong, they assert a great variety of styles reflecting an array of ceremonial or protectional functions. The hampatong are placed in front of a ceremonial lodge, at a village crossroads or on a riverbank. These statues could perform important functions of protection, commemoration or representation of an ancestor.
  • The Dayak people, indigenous to the island of Borneo, Indonesia, represent a rich tapestry of culture, tradition, and history. Comprising over 200 distinct ethnic subgroups, the Dayaks are primarily found in the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan, as well as in parts of Malaysia and Brunei. Traditionally forest-dwelling, the Dayak communities have adapted to the lush, tropical rainforest, with livelihoods centered around farming, hunting, and fishing. Known for their elaborate art, intricate tattoos, and vibrant festivals, the Dayak culture is deeply rooted in animism, with a strong emphasis on spirituality and respect for nature.

    The Dayaks have a storied history marked by their legendary headhunting practices, which were part of their complex ritualistic and social systems, although these practices ceased many decades ago. Today, the Dayak people are recognized for their efforts in preserving their cultural heritage and advocating for environmental conservation, especially in the face of deforestation and modernization. Their traditional longhouses, communal living arrangements, and ceremonies like the Gawai Dayak, a harvest festival, offer a glimpse into their enduring cultural legacy.

    Despite the challenges posed by modern development, the Dayak people continue to thrive, blending traditional practices with contemporary life, and remain a vital and vibrant part of Indonesia's cultural mosaic. Their resilience, community spirit, and deep connection to the land are a testament to their enduring heritage and significant role in Indonesia's diverse cultural landscape.

Please send an e-mail via below form, WhatsApp or call to order or get more information about this object.

We can communicate in English, Deutsch and Nederlands!

I'm human! What is the third character of your email address?
I'm human!
Powerful Hampatong, Dayak Kalimantan (Borneo), 18th century but probably older
© Galerie Tjitra 2004-2024