Karen Hill Tribe Votive Figure Statue, KH2.
This is a very interesting old woodcarved statue from the Karen people of northern Thailand.
The majority of Karen people are Buddhists who also practice animism, particularly the highland Karens, who speak the Sgaw language and who have very strong animist beliefs. They believe that 37 spirits (klar) inhabit the body and when these spirits wander away illness results and that when all are gone, death occurs.
These sculptures are likely to represent these klar, and would typically be housed on a domestic altar or be placed elsewhere around the home to bring protection and good health to the inhabitants.
Very unusual sculptures indeed.
Carved wood with considerable wear. Missing arms. Difficult to age exactly but likely to be early to mid 20th Century. A wonderful and exotic decorative item.
Please see other Lanna Antique listings for examples of Hill Tribe sculpture from the region.
Height = 15.5cm.
Width = 4.5cm.
Depth = 3.5cm.