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Item Description: This heavy duty sterling silver ring was hand-carved into the shape of a stylized human skull in wax, then cast in metal using the ancient technique of lost wax casting.
ANITO SKULL RING, WEARABLE AMULET | 2019
Oxidized sterling silver; cast, hand-finished.
While I was doing research for a long-term art project exploring the history of colonization in the Philippines, I came across the story of an indigenous Filipino from the Ifugao tribe, who kept the skull & bones of his ancestors, including his father, wrapped neatly in blankets under the floor of his hut. This might sound creepy to some, but I feel curious about how this practice could have prevented the disconnect & fear people sometimes feel around death. The blunt & inescapable realness of this approach feels almost preferable to the distancing practice of embalming & burying-people-in-boxes-tradition, that I’ve been raised with.
Anito, also spelled anitu, refers to ancestor spirits, nature spirits, and deities (diwata) present in many the indigenous animistic religions of precolonial Philippines. Anito can also represent carved humanoid figures that represent these spirits.