- Modang or Bahau people
- 19th–early 20th century
The upswept and spiraling hairstyle on this lithe seated figure is a metaphor for sexuality and, by extension, fertility. It was probably used in connection with headhunting rites, perhaps as the finial for a hook on which an enemy’s skull was hung. Headhunting, which ensured both agricultural and human fertility, was considered essential for cosmic order.
Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, 2013.