Jar with incised dragon and lion-form bosses


Xi-cun Kiln

17th–18th century
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General Description

Large ceramic jars made in China, Vietnam, and Thailand were among the imported objects that Dayak peoples prized highly. Often thought to possess magical powers, these vessels were handed down as heirlooms from one generation to the next. The jars served as containers for water and rice, storage for treasured textiles, objects for the display of status, and repositories for ancestral bones among the privileged. The most common design was the dragon, a subject favored by many Dayak groups in their own art.

Excerpt from

  • Roslyn Adele Walker, Label text, Arts of the Pacific Islands, 2013.