Pagar - Batak Shaman's Talisman
Pagar - Batak Shaman's Talisman
Pagar - Batak Shaman's Talisman
Pagar - Batak Shaman's Talisman
Tribal Bod Mod

Pagar - Batak Shaman's Talisman

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Item details

Vintage from the 19th century

An exceptional and rare shamanic article from the Batak people of the Lake Toba region in Sumatra. In THE ELOQUENT DEAD, edited by Jerome Feldman, page 87-88, it is stated that, "No matter what precautions are taken, there will be ancestors that have no place in the spirit world. These begu, or malevolent spirits, can be persuaded to take up residence in pagar - charms - and serve the men who control the pagar. Pagar means 'fence' and designates, according to Barbier, 'a natural or manufactured object....which has the power to keep away evil spirits or to protect against witchcraft' ". The pagar talisman would be activated by special incantations spoken by the shaman. This old pagar depicts a female figure with large, pointed breasts. Bone fragments are bound to the lower portion of the front of the figure with fiber cordage. A conical iron tip supports the figure above. Plugs in the head and abdomen seal the openings which have been filled with pukpuk, a ritually charged substance unique to the Batak. "Puk puk," a powerful substance made from a ritually executed human victim. Puk puk, it was believed, could force the victim's spirit to do the datu's bidding. Good, old patina. 19th century. Measures in length about 8 1/2 inches.