Lavish photography and groundbreaking new texts unlock the magic of the island cultures of Indonesia, Malaysia and East Timor.
Eyes of the Ancestors takes an in-depth look at the Dallas Museum of Art's world-renowned collection of artworks from Island Southeast Asia. Beautiful photography and essays by distinguished international scholars unlock the magic of the island cultures of this region.
Leading cultural anthropologist Dr. Reimar Schefold introduces these texts, which investigate various indigenous art forms from a fresh art-historical perspective. They describe the contexts, purposes, and aesthetic influences of a range of objects, from intricately woven sacred and ceremonial textiles to carved ancestor figures. Also featured are gold and metalwork designs as well as weaponry and jewelry, most dating back more than a hundred years. A 19th-century mouth mask in the collection, from the Leti Islands, is one of the only four known to be in existence. This wooden mask, carved in the shape of a rooster's head, was used in ritual dances. Other spectacular examples from the collection likewise reflect the beliefs and practices of these island peoples.
Reimar Schefold is Professor Emeritus of the anthropology and sociology of Indonesia at Leiden University and the former Chairman of the Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.
Steven G. Alpert is an author, consultant and connoisseur of the arts of the island Southeast Asia and Pacific Rim.
Nico de Jonge is Vice-Director of the University Museum of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and also serves as the Curator of Ethnology.
Vernon Kedit was schooled in the weaving traditions of the Saribas region (Sarawak, Borneo) by his grand-aunts who, master-weavers themselves, were under the tutelage of the last leading grandmaster-weaver of the Saribas, his great-grandmother Sendit Kedit.
George Ellis, formerly the President and Director of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, is an arts consultant and author.
Roxana Waterson is a social anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.
Achim Sibeth, formerly the curator of the Southeast Asian collection at the Museum of World Cultures in Frankfurt/Main, is an independent scholar and writer.
"Simply the best book ever published on this subject." —Sir David Attenborough
"Eyes of the Ancestors is the most comprehensive and compelling book on the subject since J.P. Barbier'sArt of the Archaic Indonesians (1981) but this book offers so much more information in an impeccable package—making it an 'instant classic' and a 'must have' for anyone in traditional arts." —Alex Arthur,Tribal Artmagazine