ancestor figure

Wooden ancestral figure of a man with incised armour and a helmet riding a horse with cermaic button eyes and an incised harness and saddle.

Max Klimberg, author of 'The Kaffirs of the Hindu Kush', says that the object was probably made for the tourist trade. Traditionally such statues would stand by the grave of a deceased leader. Extant examples of these funerary statues are generally considerably larger than the Horniman’s statue and show signs of having been weathered. If this was a tourist piece it would be an early example. Klimberg states that the Kalasha started making statues in small numbers for British colonial officials after the first world war.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk