Hand Carved Flying Dragon Carved and Painted in Bali from Arbesia Wood.
The Flying Winged Spirit Guardians (also sometimes called "Cradle Guardians") myth goes all the way back ancient Majapahit Mythology, the roots of Balinese culture and art.
These Guardian figures are still produced by Balinese artisans today for they have deep cultural & spiritual significance. Typically these carvings have been used in temples or homes since ancient times to ward off evil spirits. They are always hung in a high spot, or if a statue placed on a beam or shelf looking down towards a door or window. Many types may be found from flying angels (known as "Dewi" which means "Goddess" in Balinese), animals or strange hybrids, such as head of a horse head & tail of a fish, or "Gajamina" head of an elephant & tail of a fish. It is believed that a Flying Guardian placed in ones home or sacred space will drive away evil spirits and protect the premises from harm.