Asian

House Model

Artist: Unknown

Culture/People: Toraja

Place: Southeast Asia

Media: Wood, bamboo, and pigment

Dims: 28.25 x 33.5 x 8.5 in, (71.76 x 85.09 x 21.59 cm)

Date: Mid 20th century

Description: Ritual houses are not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about art exhibits. When I think of art exhibits I think about figurines made of recycled materials, statues made of clay, or small circus replicas, like we saw when we visited the Folk Art Museum [in 2016]. However, the Toraja model house from Southeast Asia does not conform to these expectations. The model house is a symbol of “family identity and tradition” represented by the “designs carved on each tongkonan.” Each design has a different meaning. A buffalo head represents prosperity and ceremonial sacrifices. Gold knives mean heirlooms and the wealth of high status people. —Danielle Cata (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) Hands-On Curator, 2016

RTC No: AS0082

Do you have information about this artwork?

We'd love to hear about it.

Email us about this piece.
Please include the RTC No. in your email. Thank you!

Explore the Collection:

African

Asian

Native American

Oceanic