Lot: 19

Rice god "bulul", 19th century

Philippines - Ifugao

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Italian Private Collection
Bruce Frank, New York, USA
H: 16.3 inch 2000 EUR / 4000 EUR

wood, rest. The Ifugao are an ancient Malay ethnic group living in the hard-to-reach Philippine Cordilleras on northern Luzon and belong to the Igorot. The focus of their culture is the cultivation of rice on artificial terraced fields. To promote and secure their rice harvest, they carve figures like this one. "Bulul" are "charged" with magical power by priests, ceremonially sacrificed and placed in the rice stores to protect the harvest. When a figure is ritually charged and inhabited by the spirit of a "bulul", it is called a "nabululul". The "nabulul" are considered to be objects of prestige, whose possessions were largely reserved for the ruling class.

Moltzau-Anderson, Eric, In the shape of tradition, Leiden 2010, p. 99 ff.