Some critics will add: “Factories with expert craftsmen regularly produce high quality fakes for the market.” Additionally, they have visited these factories and been shown the process.
My responses to the above negative statements were meant to apply to hardwood sculptures from Borneo Island. Sculptures carved from softer woods are easier to manipulate and in other areas of Indonesia, at least two of these critiques are legitimate. For example the Toraja people on nearby Sulawesi Island carved effigies of important ancestors, call Tau-Tau. Tau-Tau are usually standing or sitting figures, with features that are intended to resemble the characteristics of the deceased. These figures follow a refined and formal style with little room for innovation. Additionally, these sculptures are always carved from the heart of the Jackfruit tree (Nangka). The highly compacted grains allow for a smooth finished surface and the original yellowish color gradually mellows to a honey-brown tone. Tau-Tau lacking these features and surfaces or carved from other woods (including poor quality pieces of jackfruit), would be suspect.
For an interesting and timely comparison, read the descriptions of two well-known Dayak "river" pieces in the recent Dallas Museum of Art publication "Eyes of the Ancestors" (pages 135 and 136). The text could easily be applied to the Dayak sculpture in Paris, as all three objects share a similar history, including surviving a considerable amount of time in a marine environment and most importantly, having at least a few dramatically unique features unknown at that time.
Conversely, the negative statements aimed at the Paris sculpture could just as easily been used to unfairly condemn the Dallas examples. Fortunately for the DMA, their sculptures were purchased prior to this recent outbreak of "river madness" so their authenticity was never questioned.