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Old 27th March 2024, 10:55 AM   #1
milandro
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Default Toba Batak Naga Morsaran

I am about to receive one of these very interesting objects. They are found in a variety of types varying from the ones made from carved buffalo horn and wooden Lind in the shape of a Sea Horse with is ridden by a number of people forming the " manes" of the horse.There are also other ones made of bronze or even silver obviously a richer execution . Mine will be of the humbler first type.

I don't know if I am going to hang on to it, but I like to study this subject more anyway.

Are there any collectors here?
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Old 28th March 2024, 06:04 PM   #2
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see my example
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Old 28th March 2024, 06:42 PM   #3
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To collect these would cost someone a great amount of money in the case you would like to collect antique ones!
I've seen these en masse in antique shops on Bali 15 until 20 years ago in all qualities. Yours is a better quality one but vintage to recent, they still work them until today for collectors and tourists.
I've taken a picture from the book in the sec. pic, a good book about the Batak.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 28th March 2024, 06:48 PM   #4
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Another pic.
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Old 29th March 2024, 09:28 AM   #5
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the one in my possession is not an antique but I concur in calling it " vintage" as often happens in the Netherlands the person whom sold it to me told me his father acquired during the independence war with Indonesia of the 'late '40.

It is considerably larger and heavier than I previously thought , about 45cm long and 32 cm hih.Some examples are made with Bronze Singa-Naga and Datus


This is what wikipedia has to say

"...aga morsarang is one of several types of container in which the datu (Batak people's ritual specialist) kept a supernaturally powerful potion. The naga morsarang is made of horn of a water buffalo. A large naga morsarang vessel measures 20.5 inches (52 cm) long and 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) wide. As a container of a powerful potion, the naga morsarang is extensively decorated with complex patterns. The outer surface is incised thoroughly with complex designs. The pointed end of the horn is carved into the shape of a seated figure of a man, or sometimes more. The opening of the horn is plugged with a wooden stopper. This wooden stopper is always shaped into a figure of the singa, a Naga-like underground figures. Many additional figures are sometimes carved as mounting the singa e.g. the lizard Boraspati ni Tano, a human figure, or several human figures. These human figures may represent the datu, owner of the naga morsarang, and the former datus, former owners of the naga morsarang. Others think that these figures represent characters from Batak mythology.[1]
A figure of a lizard, which represents the earth deity Boraspati ni Tano, is sometimes carved inside the hollow of the horn......


Toba people believed that the spirits of the dead were able to influence the fate of the living. To gain favor from the spirits, the Toba performed elaborate rituals or sacrifices with the help of the datu, a male ritual specialist who acted as intermediaries between the human and supernatural world. The datu created magic books known as the pustaha which was used by him and by his disciples as a reference for his magic rituals. Among the contents of the pustaha are methods to create different kind of potions used for both white magic and black magic in a kind of complex magic ritual. Naga morsarang are used as container for these potions.[2]
One example of a white magic potion is the pagar, a potion used as a kind of amulet to protect from evil. The creation of pagar is very difficult, and can only be done on certain auspicious days. Most of the ingredients of a pagar are derived from plants, although sometimes chicken head, its entrails, and its feathers are included in the mixture. The ingredients for a pagar can only be gathered on certain sacred sites known as the sombaon. Creation of a pagar took days or weeks. All the ingredients are then cooked and finely crushed into a kind of paste which is then stored in the naga morsarang.[2]...."
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