ARCHITECTURAL FINIAL, UMA KAKULUK, LAUTEM, TIMOR-LESTE, PRESUMED LATE 18TH CENTURY. WOOD AND NATURAL PIGMENTS, 220 X 30CMS. COLLECTION MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY – TAASA Review December 2011
This carved finial is one of a pair, a recent major acquisition by the MAGNT where the Southeast Asian collection, consisting of over 4,500 objects, has a regional focus on eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
A collection of ceramics acquired in the early 1970s from Manatuto village, `Portuguese Timor’, forms the basis of an extensive collection of Timorese cultural material including ceramics, jewellery, textiles, carved doors and figures. Such finials, known as uma kakuluk in the Tetun language, traditionally decorated the rooftop of ceremonial houses (uma lulik) in the Los Palos region of Lautem, Timor-Leste.
This pair has survived the vicissitudes of time and war to become the only known remaining pair from this era and region. Originally, these the finials would originally have protruded and extended upward from the elongated thatched roof of such a Lautem building...