frangipani: old map of Southeast Asia (Nusantara)
[personal profile] frangipani
The object is a carved hardwood figurine identified as a human female. Preliminary tests indicate that the figurine is carved from the wood of Fagraea fragrans and dates back from 1800s. The artist have chosen to carve these details: eyes, nose, breasts and mouth. The head is disproportionately large to the rest of the body. She is slender, and shown sitting upright on a circular base with her hands on her knees and wearing a conical hat. Geometric designs (possibly based on plant or animal life) are carved into the base. An examination of the bottom of the base reveals three circular holes of approx. 2 cm in diameter and depth carved into the wood. At the center of the bottom of the base is a slightly larger circle of rough wood, as if something had been snapped off.

Weight: Unknown due to fluctuations
Length: 2.5 meters including base
Width: 40cm at its widest diameter
Origin: Unknown Possibly Sabah (see update)

Object was first identified as a bundle wrapped in cloth (cotton, white, stained with dark brown splotches), tied with rattan. Examination by archeologist, S.A., during the removal of the exterior cover suggests that the object was wrapped with precision and care, presumably indicating that it is an object of importance.

Efforts to obtain an accurate reading of the weight of the object have so far failed. Readings range from 1.6kg to 4.8kg, and each attempted weighting of the object has rendered the machine nonfunctional. Tests on the wood show biochemical anomalies that are as yet unexplained in composition or function. The dark brown stains on the cloth wrappings have been positively identified as that of human blood.

It is speculated that the conical hat may be a woven leaf hat related to the Malaysian topi mengkuang and the Vietnamese nón lá. Due to the preponderance of similar headwear in the region of Southeast Asia, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of the figure.

Update )


Steampunk Nusantara: S.E.A. Steampunk

October 2010

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