Loan Object

Ancestor Figure (Aitos)

19th century

Wood

100 x 20 x 19 cm (39 3/8 x 7 7/8 x 7 1/2 in.) base: 8.89 x 20.32 x 20.32 cm (3 1/2 x 8 x 8 in.)
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
ILE2014.8.98
On Timor, even though local cultures believe in a divine creator who is often considered to have a dual nature, representing both male (sky) and female (earth) qualities, ancestors take precedence in ritual life. It is the ancestors who influence all daily affairs and are considered to be the source of health, well-being, and fertility. Wooden sculptures of them are placed on circular stone mounts at the center of the village.
Culture: 
Timor
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Geography: 
Made in Timor, Indonesia
Status: 
Not on view
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.