Tattoo Pattern


From: Borneo | Sarawak

Curatorial Section: Oceanian

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Object Number P233
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Kayan
Provenience Borneo | Sarawak
Date Made Before 1897
Section Oceanian
Materials Wood

Flat piece of wood carved to leave a pattern in high relief. The block is inked and pressed onto the skin as a guide for the tattooing. Double scroll motif used, above a vertical rectangular pattern, on the front of a woman's thigh. This is a five-line version, for a woman of high class. The more lines the higher the class, so this is for a woman of somewhat higher class than the very similar P234, which has four lines. Comparable examples illustrated in Hose and Shelford are from Uma Pliau, on the Baram River.

Length 4.7 cm
Width 4.7 cm
Credit Line Gift of Dr. William H. Furness 3rd., 1898

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