Nuit Kalaf from Timor with support


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Timor’s Nuit Kalaf with stand is a beautiful tribal piece. A kalaf or Kalat is a shaman’s vessel for lime powder, made of buffalo bone from water, horn or wood, and covered with a carved wooden stopper. At the Borneo and Timor ceremonies, hosts and guests share the betel nut with a pinch of lime powder, pepper and leaves from the Sireh plant (Piper betle), and a slice of the pinang palm nut (Areca catechu is a sign of hospitality and goodwill.

Each kalat is carved with a unique combination of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and geometric patterns, which often echo traditional local designs. Men carry their kalat with them in a traditional cloth bag called aluk. The aluk will also carry Pinang nuts and other ingredients to chew on betel, and a feku, a cow whistle. Each man carefully trains his cows to respond only to the particular sound of his feku.

We brought these unique pieces directly from a Timorese family in Indonesia who had a vast personal collection of tribal art. Each of them is unique and slightly different from any other fact.