Stone wood carved 'sunduk', a male burial site marker, of the Bajau people. Also referred to as a 'duyang-duyang' and "spirit vessels" (symbolicly representing the passage of the spirit to the afterlife) and appear in various animal and human shapes. Variations in size and elaboratness are attributed to age and wealth of the deceased. This example is in a stylized bird form but also appear in boat and horse shapes. Sex of the deceased is distinguished from the general shape of the upright. The upright round pointed center post denotes a male marker while women are flat and scalloped. This one features a stylized bird head and 'Sarimanok' (Muslim legendary bird figure) tail motif.
These markers have been found crafted from wood, coral and aggregate or a combination thereof. Gifts of stalks of grains were frequently seen being offered. Many are from Samal Island, Davao del Norte province, in the Davao gulf near the island of Mindanao, Philipppines in an area known as the Sulu Archipelago (between southern Philippines and Borneo). Also found in Malaysia and other South China Sea islands. Dates from the early 20th century. Approximately 30" long x 16" tall x 6" wide.