The Belum II
by Faizwan Mat
Collect your choice of gallery quality Giclée, or fine art prints custom trimmed by hand in a variety of sizes with a white border for framing.
This wooden figure is a particularly fine example of the belum carvings collected by Charles Hose along the Igan River, north-west Borneo, at the turn of the nineteenth century. Belum are used by the Melanau in rituals to cure diseases. First the spirit who caused the illness is tentatively identified on the basis of the visible symptoms of the illness, and then invited into the wooden figure to participate in the ritual to cure the patient. In this example, the hands are held over the stomach, suggesting that it might have been used for belly aches.