This statue, known as ‘hoda-hoda bakkuwang’, comes from the Batak people of north Sumatra. Warriors received these statues of a human figure riding a horse-like ‘singa’ (a mythical Batak creature) as gifts for their prowess in war. The singa was depicted with high-ranking personages, and a human sacrifice was required before the singa could be laid into position as decoration in a house. The singa is thought to be a protective spirit and is sometimes said to be a divinity from the lower world that carries the world of mankind on its back.

Indigenous Name
Hoda-hoda bakkuwang
19th century
North Sumatra
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andy Ng