H: 47 cm (approx. 1’ 7”)
Estimated age: early 20th century
Provenance: Austrian private collection
Belu (also Belos or Behale) was the Portuguese name for the central part of the island of Timor.
Timor has extraordinary ethnic diversity. The two main groups are the Dawan (Atoni) of Central West Timor, and the neighboring Tetum (Belu), who extend into central East Timor. A nicely carved ceremonial spoon with typical ornaments from the Belu tribe. The composition of this spoon shows a “life tree” with bird branches. Inside it contains smaller birds, and two larger birds sit on top. A very sophisticated carved sculpture!