Dayak babies are traditionally carried in woven rattan baby carriers suspended from the motherís shoulders, and the back of the panel is decorated with a large beaded panel to protect the baby and enhance its status.
This glass beadwork panel, salvaged for a damaged baby carrier, displays a two double headed protective mythical aso dragons which will protect the child against evil spirits, and this is protection is reinforced by three blue and one yellow abstract sprit faces. The two tigers at the bottom are said to denote a high born child. Size 34 32 x 25.5 cm / 13 ľ x 10 inches.
A note on Dayak beadwork: The art of beadwork using small glass seed beads is restricted to only three Dayak tribes, the Kayan, Kenyah and Kajang of central Kalimantan, Borneo. The Dayak are animists and their world is populated by powerful spirits, many of which are dangerous to humans. The designs of most womens' art are defensive, designed to erect barriers between their families and the malignant spirits.