The artists of Nias island are notable for their monumental stone sculpture. Created to honor nobles of either sex, large stone sculptures were commissioned by aristocratic men as part of the ceremonial requirements of owasa ("feasts of merit"). Stone seats (osa'osa) are unique to Central Nias, where they serve as thrones for high-ranking nobles on important occasions.
Osa'osa often bear multiple names, describing different aspects of their form and imagery. Broadly, this work is a si sara bagi, indicating that it has one (rather than three) heads. More poetically it is called laeluo ("leaves in the sun"), a metaphorical reference to its aristocratic sponsor, whose resplendence illuminates the village like sunlight shining on the leaves of trees. Specifically, it is a gogowaya (hornbill), a large forest bird, depicted as a fantastic composite creature with the legs and teeth of a feline or crocodile, the antlers of a deer, and the beak, crest, and tail of a hornbill. Serving as a supernatural guardian for its noble rider, its ferocity is emphasized by a warrior's necklace (kalabubu) worn around its throat.
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email email@example.com to find out how you can help.