With interesting motifs in leather and cotton thread, this old reed mat, or ‘eseber’, is an attractive Tuareg piece. Stick-like reeds are woven together with thin leather ‘thread’, and dark red and black leather form the decorative motifs, some of which resemble fish above water. Leather also edges three sides, and the fourth has long leather fringe. Used in Tuareg nomadic tents, these mats serve a variety of purposes: seating, eating, and for prayer. Condition is good, tho the leather is worn in some areas (note the vertical connecting threads in the lower ‘fish’, and the edges). We don’t see many of these, especially with a strong design.
Size: 34.5″ x 16″
Possibly from the Tuareg, this interesting old belt is a mystery: we’re not sure what it was used for, tho we think it is more for ritual than practical purposes. It includes three rather crude leather-sheathed knives, one sheath without a knife, a small folding blade in a leather cover, a carved wood ‘critter’ (lizard?), a set of two iron implements- a pick and a tweezer- inside a leather case, and a very tired small leather purse with flap. All hang from a braided leather cord. The knives have wood handles and slightly sharp, rusty blades, and are kept in place by simple but ingenious leather ties; the sheaths are dyed and incised with simple linear designs similar to those seen on Tuareg artifacts. Everything shows much use and age. This displays well with the Tuareg mat (AO261).
Size: 39″ dia.
The Indonesian island of Nias is located off the NW coast of Sumatra and has until recently been very isolated, thereby protecting the indigenous culture. Ancestor worship played a large part in their belief system with the ritual ‘adu‘ figures important icons. This large, handsome fellow is made of carved wood, and has some great details (please see photos), including his elegant feathered crown, mustache, neckring, single earring, rope-like belt, and benevolently outstretched arms. Please note that the base is not level and needs a mount. Arms are removable, and are probably replacements.
Size: 35″ x 17.5″