figure (communication artefact)

Scare-devil. Carved wooden figure, humanoid in shape, with two boar's tusks and a forked tongue protruding from the mouth. The eyes are mother of pearl, and the facial features have been painted with red and black pigments. There are two textile tassels, one red and one cream, hanging from each ear, and the figure wears a red loincloth. The figure stands with one foot in front of the other. The arms are detachable, and when attached are spread out to either side and slightly raised. The arms are inscribed with 'LEFT' and 'RIGHT', and refer to the figure's proper left and right.

A so-called 'scare-devil' would be placed outside the door of a house, to frighten away evil spirits and illness.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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.

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