Wood carving

This 19th century carving depicts the spirit of a mountain deer. The belief in nats, or nature spirits, dates back to the 11th century. Nat simply means ‘lord’ and different nats had dominion over pieces of land or the people of a village. This carving was likely made as a protective device for the home.

Object Summary

Museum Number 100/1993/1
Simple Name carving
Full Name head of a nat (spirit)
Common Name wood carving
Production country Burma
Material antlers; leather; quartz; pigment
Collection class Religion and magic
Collection continent Asia
Collection area/region SE
Production continent Asia
Function name likely protective device