On a trip to stay with an indigenous Dayak tribe in Borneo, I was able to have more insight on ancient rituals still practiced today. We were welcomed to participate in a ceremonial funeral for 7 members in their village. Among the chanting, offerings, alcohol, and 7 cows to soon be sacrificed, the hornbill symbolism was prominent everywhere. Due to ancient animistic beliefs, the native hornbill still represents a spiritual guide for the dead. The hornbill gives wings to the soul up into the heavens. It also represents the natural spirit protecting the island of Borneo, along with providing courage and endurance in war time. You can find the hornbill motif in almost all traditional carvings, textiles, tattoos and dances.
I became mystified by this bird and created a deconstruct hornbill that is seen not only from different angles but also in the shadows. Allowing this spirit to be free from construct while displaying cosmic duality.