An image of 'Penji' memorial grave markerAn image of 'Penji' memorial grave marker

Unknown Artist

'Penji' memorial grave marker

Location
Not on display
Further information

East Sumbanese tombs consist of a horizontal dolmen structure ('reti') and vertical grave markers ('penji'). The sculptural motifs on a 'penji' commemorate the life and achievements of the deceased. On the side of this sculpture is a weaver at her loom and a hunting scene. A snake and the potent mamuli design appear on the front. Mamuli are ritual objects invested with the capacity to mediate between the human world and realm of ancestral spirits. Invoking the form of the female generative organ, the motif is a powerful fertility symbol. A powerful crocodile crowns the penji stone.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2006.

Place of origin
East Sumba, Indonesia
Year
late 19th century
Media
Ceremonial object, Sculpture
Medium
stone
Dimensions
220.0 x 65.0 x 20.0 cm
Credit
Gift of Nomadic Rug Traders 2006
Accession number
378.2006