Male ancestral effigie "Ana Deo" - Nage people - Flores

Ref : Flores 06

Male ancestral effigie Ana Deo - Nage people - Flores

Among the Nage these anthropomorphous figures ana deo are erected on either side of a ladder giving access to a cult house (sa’o waja), the ritual and political centre of a lineage or local segment of a clan. In the Keo region, the same naked figures are found in front of small, normally uninhabited buildings erected at the seaward end of a village. In both cases, the male figure is placed on the (heraldic) right and the female on the left.

Although the statues are sometimes described in the literature as representations of ancestors, the attribution is doubtful. In the Nage region, they are more often associated with the tutelary spirit of a cult house, a being identified with the physical building and especially with the spirits of the wood from which it is constructed. The reason for the nakedness of the figures is no longer known to their creators, though they share this feature with riders of the wooden horse statues; the name ana deo (ana means ‘child’ or ‘person’, the sense of deo is unknown) does not resolve these questions.

The protuberances on the heads represent topknots or buns of hair traditionally worn by adult Nage and Keo men and women. The carved figures form the top half of wooden posts set in the ground. These posts differ from other decorated posts found in ritually important buildings only with regard to the rectangular or cubical platforms serving as seats.

The posts terminating in the anthropomorphous statues also feature a central bulbous shape designated as a ‘pot’ (podo, pondo)

Height  : 250 cm / 98 inches


Estimated age: middle 20th century