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1902 Photogravure Kayan Tribe Child Gum Toh Ghosts Clutch Scar Evil XGTC1

1902 Photogravure Kayan Tribe Child Gum Toh Ghosts Clutch Scar Evil XGTC1

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This is an original 1902 black and white photogravure of a portrait of a boy of the Kayan Tribe in Borneo, who bears the "gum toh" or "ghost's clutch" raised scar, which is supposedly caused by the fingers of an evil spirit. It is said that sometimes the victim is seized around the neck by the spirit, choked and killed. The tribe maintains these scars are formed in a single night, though this is rather unlikely.


This 109+ year old Item is rated Very Fine +. Light aging throughout. No creases. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. Moderate moisture wrinkling throughout.

  • Product Type: Original Photogravure; Black / White
  • Grade: Very Fine +
  • Dimensions: Approximately 5 x 7 inches; 13 x 18 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Period Paper has obtained a limited edition collection (only 500 ever produced) by William Henry Furness, which focuses on his ethnological research of the headhunting (the practice of decapitating an individual and preserving their head postmortem) tribes of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, including that of the Kayans and Kenyahs. In these antique historical images, Furness explores the tribesÕ cultures; weapons and weaponry; tribal costumes, jewelry, masks and headdresses; body art and mutilation; cultural handicrafts; religious traditions, and more. Come discover the incredibly fascinating cultures and traditions of these primitive tribes, submersed deep in the tropical rainforests of Borneo.

Keywords specific to this image: Gauged Ears, Child, Anthropology, Ethnology, Ethnography, Scarification