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Long Prayer Stick

Asian Art

The ikupasuy is a sacred object used for prayer. The worshipper dips the sharper end into rice wine (sake) or millet beer, and then sprinkles drops of the liquor. The ikupasuy is believed to be a medium for sending a message to a spirit or god. Delicately carved in relief on plain wood, ikupasuy show numerous design variations. They were sometimes lacquered by neighboring Japanese.

CULTURE Ainu
MEDIUM Hardwood
DATES late 19th-early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 1 x 1 x 13 5/8 in. (2.5 x 2.5 x 34.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Asian Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 12.230
CREDIT LINE Gift of Herman Stutzer
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Ainu. Long Prayer Stick, late 19th-early 20th century. Hardwood, 1 x 1 x 13 5/8 in. (2.5 x 2.5 x 34.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Herman Stutzer, 12.230. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 12.230_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Long hardwood "mustache lifter"/prayer stick with one straight and one pointed end. Elaborate carving in relief on front. Condition: good. From accession card: "Iku-Pashu (Ritual Drinking Spatula)." One straight and on pointed end and elaborate carving in relief on front. The pointed end of the spatula was dipped into a cup of wine and moved up and down in front of the face, ritually offering wine to the "kamui (spirits)." They were carved from hardwoods, usually left unpainted and sent to Japanese workshops for lacquering. There are seven kinds of "iku-pashui," including certain types used for religious ceremonies and others used only by women and children. Condition: good.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
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