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Funerary effigy. Indonesia, Greater Sunda Islands, Sulawesi, Toradja people, 20th CE. For the Sa'dan Toraja, tau tau means "small person" or "like a person". The effigy is being animated by a poem sung by the priest to minaa. After consecration, it receives the shadow or soul of the deceased, bombo. IT becomes thus its double. Like the deceased it receiveds offerings of food, betel, and palm wine. During the procession which accompanies the deceased to his last resting place, the tau tau follows the cortege on a richly decorated palanquin. It gets placed near the entrance to the grave on the side of teh cliff, where it watches over the land of the living.. Wood, hair, shell, indigo pigment, 169 x 50 x 16.5 cm. Inv. 70.2001.27.318.1-13. Photo: Patrick Gries / Valérie Torre.
Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac/Paris/France
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© musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
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20th century CE