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Robert and Helen Kuhn Collection, Los Angeles, CA
Gift of George and Marie Hecksher
At the bottom of this composite panel juts the long horned head of a water buffalo. Sitting astride the buffalo, a clan founder or an important ancestor is depicted in full battle regalia.
This figure, and one from the opposite corner of the same house's façade, now in the Dallas Museum of Art (4), are the two finest surviving examples known. Sharply chiseled to pick up natural light and meant to be seen at a high elevation staring downwards, their carvers' ably created watchful sentinels that exuded prowess, prestige, and a living connection to the ancestors."