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Carved Wooden Pawukon Calendar with Lime Highlights
Bali, Indonesia
early 20th century

length: 40.7cm, width: 9.5c, thickness: 0.8cm, weight: 398g

Calendars were used on Bali and Lombok to determine the correct time for festivals, rituals associated with rice planting, and horoscopes. Calendars were
either painted on cotton cloth, or carved from wooden boards as with the example here.

The example here, probably from the Badung Regency in south Bali, has an excellent, glossy patina. It clearly has significant age and has seen much use and
handling.

It is carved with a loop on an elongated neck at the top. The calendar is pierced down one side with a single row of drilled holes.

The front is entirely engraved with 210 squares (seven days by thirty weeks - this being a full year in the Balinese
Pawukon calendar of 210 days) and these
are marked with a series of crosses and circles. Some of the squares are also marked with small metal studs.

The reverse is engraved with 35 squares (seven days by five weeks for the Balinese/Lombok month of 35 days)

The engraving is highlighted with lime powder which has been rubbed into the depressions. This powder, almost certainly made from crushed, burned
seashells and limestone is the same as that used in the betel quid that was chewed for mild narcotic effect.

The calendar is in superb condition and is without cracks, repairs or chips. Again, the patina is superb.

Provenance:   
Breguet, G., & J. Couteau,
Un Autre Temps: Les Calendriers Tika de Bali, Somogy Editions D'Art, 2002.
Gardan, D., 'Balinese wooden calendars',
Arts of Asia, March-April 1987.
Ramseyer, U.,
The Art and Culture of Bali, Oxford University Press, 1977.

Inventory no.: 3343 RESERVED

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