Tattoo Pattern


From: Borneo | Sarawak

Curatorial Section: Oceanian

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Object Number P208
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Kayan
Provenience Borneo | Sarawak
Date Made ca. 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. The rectangular shape, filled by the design of diamonds and scrolls, suggests that this is a repeat pattern for a woman's thigh. If so, the single line with which it is executed suggests that it must be for the use of a woman of an exceedingly low class - probably a slave.

Length 9.9 cm
Width 2 cm
Thickness 1.1 cm
Credit Line Gift of Dr. William H. Furness 3rd., 1898

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