Shamanist figures are used in villages in many areas of the India Himalaya and Nepal. They are used to ward off evil spirits and may be placed at entrances to houses or villages, near water sources or bridges or anywhere that malevolent spirits could cause harm.
These are traditional agricultural communities where rain, floods, landslides, lightening, wild animals are all capable of damage and harm. Shamanist figures give protection from the spirits of the forest, rivers and mountains.
These shaman figures both contain niches where puja items like rice, flowers, pebbles, bits of cloth or bone could be left to add power to the figure.
Certainly, if you came across these figures with a recent puja offering you'd be aware that nearby someone was marking their "territory". Search these pages for carved wooden tribal masks from Nepal, a Hanuman monkey mask, carved Ganesh statues, carved wooden mirrors, wooden shrines, carved totemic statues from the Himalayas, a large painted wooden Buddha from Nepal, carved Ganesh panels and ornate mirrors.