Knife Tempesing

Object: nyu, lunggai, tempesing Culture and time: West-Borneo, Sarawak or Kalimantan, Kenyah (possibly Iban), late 19th century / early 20th century Dimensions: Length 35 cm The handle of this extraordinary knife (tempesing or lunggai, literally "feather") can be considered a textbook example of Kenyah carving at the highest level. A carefully selected piece of forked Sambar stag antlers was used, which in this case has practically no porous core. The whole structure is grouped around the central pierced double spiral, which embodies the soul's or the afterlife's journey and the ability to rededicate life energy by the warrior and headhunter. Above the [...]

Soul ship

Object: Soul ship Culture and time: Borneo The soul ship (telun) is an old concept of the Dayak on Borneo, which originally probably goes back to the Egyptian sun barque of Ra. It was believed that the souls rise from the under-world in the east and "go down" in the west and enter the under-world, similar to the sun. The afterlife is therefore always in the west. It is assumed that the dead person travels on a river that starts wide at first and leads through a narrow gorge with a whirlpool of fire at the end, the entrance [...]

Ceremonial seat

Object: Ceremonial seat for a high-ranking warrior, possibly a symbolic ancestral seat for festivals Culture and time: Borneo, Kalimantan East, Dayak, Kayan, 19th/beginning of 20th century. Special seats were used at gawaiian festivals as a badge of rank and status for high-ranking warriors. Usually the Dayak sit at ground level on rattan mats. Chairs or stools might have only appeared in Indonesia in the course of the last centuries under Muslim influence, because they are not to be found on Hindu-Javanese temple friezes.  Gawai Dayak, annual festivals, which could last several weeks, were held on various occasions such as [...]


Object: Necklace (chief's necklace) Culture and time: Malaysia, Borneo, Northwest, Dayak, Iban or Kenyah, 19th century This necklace represents a relatively rare type of male jewellery, which is known by the Maloh and Iban, but is less common by the upstream Dayak (orang ulu). Very similar necklaces are also known among the Igorot groups on Luzon, the Lumad groups on Mindanao, the Batak on Sumatra, the Miao and Yu in China and in East Indonesia. This indicates that this is an old metal age Austronesian form of jewellery.  The necklace consists of 64 cast and chased brass or bronze [...]


The head is the key part of the body, responsible for our character, our person. In contrast to the approximately 300 other bones of the skeleton, which change in size and composition throughout our lives, the head remains relatively unchanged. It is the source of our individuality. We talk, see and hear with the head, our emotional life and our balance, our locating system and our perception of the here and now are located in the head. //Der Kopf ist das Körperteil schlechthin, dasjenige, welches unseren Charakter, unser Wesen ausmacht. Im Gegensatz zu den etwa 300 übrigen Knochen des [...]

A set of ceremonial archery equipment for the enthronement ceremony of the Taisho Emperor

Taisho era (1912-1926), circa 1915, unsigned  Bow: 179cm (70,5in)  Arrows: each 67cm (26 3/8in) Quiver: 28cm x 20.5cm x 6.5cm (11in x 8 1/8in x 2,5in) The bow with its set of arrows was prepared for the enthronement ceremonies for the Taisho Emperor in 1915. It belonged to the sculptor Sano Akira, who served as a Taireishi Kotokan (High Ceremonial Officer) at the event. The bow is decorated with imperial paulownia crests and tendrils in gold lacquer. It also has silk wrappings and gilt metal fittings. The set of 15 arrows has lacquered shafts, gilt-metal tips and feather flights. The set is fittet [...]

Buddhistical Sculptures

Nikkō Hensho Bosatsu (“All illuminating Sunlight”) Save the in darkness reborn suffering humanity through thousand from heaven sent sunbeams. Muromachi Period, 16th century Height (sculpture) 100 cm //(„Alles beleuchtendes Sonnenlicht“) Errettet die in der Dunkelheit der Wiedergeburten leidenden Menschen durch tausend vom Himmel gesandte Sonnenstrahlen. Muromachi Zeit, 16. Jahrhundert Höhe (Skulptur) 100 cm Jūichimen Kanno Eleven headed Kannon of esoteric Buddhism, symbolizes the eleven types of godly might and reflects the unending compassion. Early Edo period, 17th century Height 83 cm //Elfköpfige Kannon des esoterischen Buddhismus, symbolisiert die elf Arten göttlicher Macht [...]

Yanone – Japanese arrowheads // Yanone – Japanische Pfeilspitzen

Japanese arrowheads, yanone, are an art form themselves. Its high status in the traditional Japanese culture is explained by the fact that the bow, yumi, was the main weapon of the high-ranked samurai before the introduction of the firearm in the 16th century. It was even more important than the famous "samurai sword", tachi or katana. In fact, kyuba no michi, "the way of bow and arrow", was the essence of the noble warrior class. Shooting with bow and arrows from a horse’s back was practiced from childhood on and brought to perfection. Even today it is a traditional [...]

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