Prosperity Ganesha

by admin on March 21, 2009

Prosperity Ganesha

Prosperity Ganesha

Indonesian Carvings Make Unusual Gifts

In Southeast Asia, a cluster of islands numbering 17,508 is known as Indonesia. Only about 6,000 of the islands are actually inhabited but there are over 222 million people living here. The five largest islands consist of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, New Guinea, and Sulawesi. This Muslim country is known in particular for the hand-carvings that represent many of the beliefs they lived by in the past and still do today. The unique carvings that are a part of the history of Indonesia are sought after for what they represent as well as the unusual gifts that they make.


Among the unusual and unique carvings in Bali one of the most-carved items is the Buddha. The religion in this area is mainly Hindu but Buddha is recognized in this area as a reincarnation of the Hindu God, Vishnu. The temples on this island have many statues of Buddha and these elaborate carvings are some of the most beautiful in the world. One in particular is carved from rain tree wood. The tranquility of Buddha as he meditates raising his left hand to ward off evil and the right one to show that he is indeed in meditation is one of the more popular. This Buddha is sitting on a lotus flower with a lotus bud on his right and left side. One of the more unique gifts, this is a favorite of many.

The Dakon Game

Another item that would make a wonderful conversation piece is the Dakon game. This feature that stands out on this wooden carving is the horse spirit that is 35 inches long and 11 inches tall. An item native to an area in Sumatra, this is a popular game of strategy that can be compared to chess. This item is hand carved from teak and stained. Even if you never learn how to play the game, this exquisite piece of history from Indonesia is a wonderful carving to own.

Hampatong Pair

This carving can either be made of wood or bone and are from two inches to six feet tall. Carved on the Island of Borneo, by the Dayak people, this pair is intended to be placed at the entrance of the home to keep the evil spirits away. They can be carved to resemble a family member who has passed. The Hampatongs are carved from ironwood and are an interim home for dead souls.

The Dragon

Carved from the rain tree which is a hardwood with interlocking grain that keeps it from cracking, the dragon shows the influence Chinese traders had on the Indonesian people. This is a wonderful representation of a dragon which is 21 inches long and 22 inches tall.


A sand cast carvings brought back to the original lava rock, this is the Hindu Elephant God of Prosperity. Ganesha is the favorite of many. The son of Shiva and Durga, worshiping Ganesha before activities such as an educational undertaking is thought to bring good luck. This flat-backed carving is meant to be hung on a wall or placed on a shelf.

The Queen – Tribal Wood Stick Puppet

The Queen, wife of the Chief, is an exotic puppet which was based on the Dayak civilization on the island of Kalimantan, which was previously known as Borneo. A reversible puppet made from water buffalo hide, this Wayang Kulit is carved and painted on each side. Wayang Kulit means shadow puppet and was most likely used for Puppet Theater in Borneo. The puppet theater is not only a source of diversion of fun for the people of Java and Bali but a source of education. By teaching the age old Hindu classics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabaratha, which are two of India’s two greatest epic poems about the war between the Pandava and the Kaurava families and the incarnation of the god Vishnu, the puppet theater teaches the history of the people who lived many years ago.

Chinese Kirin – Hand Sculpted Terra Cotta

The Chinese Kirin is an animal that is a cross species of a dragon, a horse, and a dog. The body is covered with scales and the Kirin is smiling – all teeth – as if it really was not a chubby, scale-covered misfit. This animal was sculpted in terra cotta clay in the village of Kasongan in central Java. Used in gardens, on patios, and anywhere else in the home, it is about 15 inches tall.

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