Life, Death and Magic provides an evocative overview of Southeast Asia's ancestral arts and culture, from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. Beautifully designed, it is illustrated with works of art from countries and regions including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, East Timor, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, and southern China, drawn from museums around the world.
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For thousands of years across mainland and island Southeast Asia, the deification of significant ancestors and the veneration of spirits of nature has formed the basis of traditional beliefs. These beliefs are in turn the impetus for the creation of splendid and extraordinary works of art in fiber, stone, metal, wood, and clay -- made to protect and give pleasure to the living, to honor the ancestors, and to secure safe passage for the human soul between this world and the afterlife.