Sarawak Carved Ceremonial Pole

( Singapore )

Sarawak Carved Ceremonial Pole, public art, Singapore

Public Art : Sarawak Carved Ceremonial Pole

Carver: © Unknown

Description:

Date Unveiled: The Sarawak Ceremonial Pole was presented by the State Government and People of Sarawak to the Government and People of Singapore on April 12th, 1991.

Location: The Sarawak Carved Ceremonial Pole was originally erected outside the National Museum but was later moved to its current position outside the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore.

Inscriptions:

 

Carved Ceremonial Pole

Kajang community, Sarawak, Malaysia

Presented by the State Government and People of Sarawak, to the Government and People of Singapore, after the 'Sarawak-Singapore Link' exhibition at the old National Museum in Jan 1991.

This is a fine contemporary example of a carved ceremonial pole. They were once a common feature in the settlements of many indigenious communities of Sarawak. Such poles were often placed at the entrance to a village in front of longhouse dwellings or in sacred burial sites.

This pole was carved by members of the Kajang community and is decorated with carved motifs of spirals, scrolls and circular discs. These motifs were considered spiritually powerful and intended to frighten away evil spirits and attract good spirits.

Sarawak Carved Ceremonial Pole

presented by the State Government and People of Sarawak to the Government and People of Singapore, April 12, 1991

This carved ceremonial pole is an example of the range of wood carvings produced by several ethnic communities in Sarawak. Woodcarvings are a common cultural expressions of Sarawak's indigenous people. As decorative carvers, they produce a variety of crafts, ranging from mass trunk carvings to anthropomorphic statues,  and small figurines. This particular pole, with traditional motifs in bold relief of spiral, scroll and circular disc was carved by members of the kajang community. Traditionally, such a ceremonial pole, if made with a hollowed chamber at the middle section, was used to inter [sic] remains of a distinguished leader and served both as a mausoleum and an identity for the whole community.

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