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Ancestor figure, representing man who had died around AD 1800

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in Taiwan

Ancestor figure, representing man who had died around AD 1800
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This figure was made to represent a particular man who had died around AD 1800 in Taiwan. It commemorated him as an ancestor and acted as a focus for his descendant's offerings and prayers to him.

The figure has been carved from a single piece of wood, and detail has been carved and painted. The man stands with hands clasped and with a sad expression. He wears clothes and there is what looks like an inscription on his left side.

Ancestors have traditionally been very important to people over much of south-east Asia and the Pacific, as the source of protection, wisdom and power. Veneration of the ancestors took various forms, including the making of these figures.

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