Carving with kneeling figure intertwined with spiders and scorpion

Balinese, 1930, and Photographer: Ardon Bar-Hama1930

Freud Museum London

Freud Museum London

This figure was produced by one of the finest Balinese Master carvers of the 1930s, mostly likely Ida bagus Njana of the Village of Mas, Bali. It depicts a woman meditating, possibly in a forest or a cemetery, and being tempted or haunted by myriads of poisonous creatures (snakes, scorpions and spiders) and evil spirits (shown as the "hand" and "limb" of the dwellers of the underworld). These beings could have been real or a mere illusion of human minds enduring a frightening experience during the meditation process. These experiences were studied by the American anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson during their research into the Balinese psyche. They were known to ask Balinese painters to draw their dreams and experiences of the unconscious mind, which would have appealed hugely to Freud.

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  • Title: Carving with kneeling figure intertwined with spiders and scorpion
  • Creator: Balinese, 1930, Photographer: Ardon Bar-Hama
  • Date: 1930
  • Physical Dimensions: 26.7 x 6.5 x 10 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Bali, Indonesia, anthropology
  • Rights: Copyright Freud Museum London
  • External Link: Freud Museum London
  • Medium: Wood, likely Panggal Buaya Wood


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