Collections: Arts of the Pacific Islands: Male Funerary Figure (Tau-tau, Bombo di Kita)

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Deborah Hall

The portrait of sixteen-year-old Deborah Hall demonstrates the rich and multilayered language of symbols at the disposal of portraitists in ...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: RCA Victor Special Model K, Portable Electric Phonograph

    Although aluminum, in which this streamlined phonograph is encased, is taken for granted today as a lightweight, inexpensive material that h...


    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    82.11a-b.jpg CUR.82.11a-b_threequarter_print_bw.jpg CUR.82.11a-b_top_print_bw.jpg

    Male Funerary Figure (Tau-tau, Bombo di Kita)

    • Culture: Sa'dan Toraja
    • Medium: Wood
    • Place Made: South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia
    • Dates: 20th century
    • Dimensions: 57 x 7 1/2 x 7 in. (144.8 x 19.1 x 17.8 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Pacific Islands
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 82.11a-b
    • Credit Line: Purchased with funds given by Frieda and Milton F. Rosenthal
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Sa'dan Toraja. Male Funerary Figure (Tau-tau, Bombo di Kita), 20th century. Wood, 57 x 7 1/2 x 7 in. (144.8 x 19.1 x 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Frieda and Milton F. Rosenthal, 82.11a-b. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 82.11a-b.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: The object is an armless human figure constructed of two parts of wood. The head and neck sit on the shoulders with a dowel that can be removed from the body. Dowel holes for the arms are evident on the shoulders indicating that the figure originally had arms which were missing at the time of purchase. The proper front half of the right foot is also missing as well as the genitals. The object is in good and stable condition. There are insect holes, checks, and cracks in the wood overall. There are two large holes on the face on either side and one hole on the proper right side at the waist. A large opening in the back indicates that a large dowel used to secure the head to the torso. From catalogue card: Standing light brown wooden male figure (a funerary effigy called a "tau tau") carved in two parts: head and body. The carving style is relatively naturalistic. (a) The head has finely carved facial features and carefully delineated ears. Brows are indicated, eyes are almond shaped and slightly recessed, the nose thin and fine with nostrils indicated, and a carefully incised mouth. There are two round depressions on the face, one on right side near mouth, the other on left near the ear. There are traces of resin which held the shell inlay, now missing, in the eyes. The neck is round and extending down from it is a short post which fits into the body of the figure. (b) The body is carved relatively flat, but the legs are will modeled with knees indicated. There are two pierced square lugs, one under each foot. Genitals are indicated, however, parts have been cut away. The arms, which were also carved separately, are missing, but the holes into which they would have been pegged are visible. There is a large opening at the back of the figure through which the head could be turned when in place. Condition: Check extending from under chin down the front of the post. Light checking on the face. Traces of pigment on face. Check from top of head down side behind right ear into neck area. Surface pitting on back of head. Void on right side of torso. Pitting on back of legs, checking on buttocks. Void on inside of left leg, two voids on front and inside of right leg, surface loss on middle of right thigh and void on inside of upper right thigh. Checking on front of left leg and left foot. Right foot missing. Evidence of wear on both square shaped lugs with considerable erosion on right lug. Received with modern wooden base with openings into which lugs fit under feet.
    • Record Completeness: Good (73%)
    advanced 110,468 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.