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Gold

Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Anne Richter and Bruce W. Carpenter


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page 2 Necklace with naga motifs, Aceh, 18th–19th century, Gold alloy (p. 447) page 4 Girls’ hair pendant, Aceh, 18th–19th century, Gold (p. 459) page 5 Necklace with amulet container, Aceh, 19th century or earlier, Gold (p. 446) page 6 Necklace, Karo Batak, 20th century, Silver-gilt (p. 359) page 7 Mask pendant, Southeast Maluku, 19th century, Gold alloy (p. 67) page 8 Miniature charm holder (top), Peranakan Chinese, 19th century, Gold (p. 318) Tri-lobed ear pendants (middle), Central Flores, Lio, 19th century, Gold (p. 190) Necklace pendant (bottom), Aceh, 18th–19th century, Gold (p. 443) page 9 Snake-shaped headdress, Central Sulawesi, 18th century or earlier, Copper Alloy, H 19.2 cm On rare occasions, sanggori have anthropomorphic features.

© 2011 Editions Didier Millet Sponsored by P.T. Delta Aneka Consultants Designed and produced by Editions Didier Millet Pte Ltd 121 Telok Ayer Street #03-01 Singapore 068590 www.edmbooks.com Editor in Chief: Achim Sibeth Editor: Rachael Morris Managing Editor: Francis Dorai Designer: Pascal Chan Production Manager: Sin Kam Cheong

Colour separation by SC Graphic, Singapore Printed by Star Standard, Singapore All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the copyright owners. ISBN 978-981-4260-38-1

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C9 D/O: 17.11.11 Co: CMPT)

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CONTENTS 7 THE FASCINATION OF GOLD

11 RADIANT GOLD GALLERY

Southeast Maluku 40 Timor 88 Sumba 116 Flores 156 Sulawesi 210 South and West Sumatra 262 Peranakan Chinese 306 Batak 346 Nias 386 Aceh 436

466 APPENDICES

472 BIBLIOGRAPHY

476 INDEX

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C3 D/O: 14.10.11 Co: CMPT)

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THE FASCINATION OF GOLD

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ince time immemorial gold has exercised a powerful fascination over humankind. Its beauty and rarity combined with its indestructibility and immutability resulted in a universal desire to possess it, and consequently aided the perception of great value among nearly all the peoples of the world. The lust for gold has been both a potent historical catalyst and a doubleedged sword. Beginning with the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the quest for gold spurred the great voyages of discovery that shrank our world and expanded our knowledge. It also brought immense suffering and the destruction of the glorious and ancient civilisations of the Aztec and Inca by conquistadores who were driven, in the image of Jason and the Argonauts in search of the “Golden Fleece”, to gain possession of fabled golden treasures. Gold has also triggered rapid demographic changes. As the result of the massive influx of gold seekers in the 1848 California Gold Rush, the sparsely populated American West blossomed into a major commercial hub centred in San Francisco in less than a decade. Similar gold rushes and results would follow in Alaska and Australia as the fever to “strike it rich” spread around the world, bringing both good and bad. The history of gold began far earlier in Southeast Asia. Early reports of an abundance of gold in Sumatra led the Indian poet Valmiki, author of the Ramayana epic, to refer to the island as Suvarnadwipa or the “Island of Gold”. Tales of an abundance of precious metal in Sumatra resulted in a brisk trade with the Indian subcontinent that would eventually change the world. Indian merchants also introduced new concepts and religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, that gave rise to illustrious kingdoms and empires whose nobles lavishly adorned themselves with gold jewellery. In many Indonesian societies, the immutability of gold prompted the belief that it possessed enormous magical powers, both benevolent and perilous. Associated with the sun and heat, the forging and working of gold was largely monopolised by esoteric castes of metallurgists who vied with other religious specialists for power and influence. Zealously guarding the secrets of their technology, they practised rituals and taboos that demanded offerings and sacrifices designed to prevent disaster and even death. Gold jewellery in Indonesia has long played an integral role in ceremonies and rituals connected with important rites of passage. In Nias, for example, men seeking to elevate their status in the strict social hierarchy were obliged to fabricate or commission specific types of gold jewellery. High gold content – associated with nobility – was paramount, since it was believed that the body and soul of the owner-wearer would absorb the metal’s noble characteristics. A similar practice is seen in the West where the exchange of golden rings symbolises the verbal oath “till death do us part”. In many Indonesian societies, the inheritance of heirloom gold jewellery is not only a transference of wealth from one generation to another, but also represents a proud link between the new owner and his or her ancestors, carrying with it the obligation to maintain hoary traditions and beliefs. Of course, in a nation of 245 million people and as the fourth most populous nation in the world with about 400 distinct ethnic groups, the 7 p7

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meaning and use of gold jewellery has never been uniform. While there is continuation of indigenous jewellery traditions, there is also great diversity, oftentimes borne of the adoption and merger of foreign motifs and forms that can be traced to India, China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Unlike many previous publications, Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago focuses not only on spectacular body adornment of minority groups – the Batak and peoples of Nias, Sumba, Flores, Timor and the Maluku Islands – but also the great Muslim jewellery traditions of the archipelago, as found in Aceh, West Sumatra and Sulawesi among others. The stunning work of the Peranakan Chinese, who have often been goldsmiths and merchants in Indonesia for generations, is also represented. Where possible, object descriptions will identify original sources of motifs and forms, as well as their spread and the process of penetration and transformation over the centuries, with an emphasis on mutual cultural influences. In short, the purpose of this volume is to explore these variations and expand knowledge of the enormous breadth and width of Indonesian gold jewellery of all types, large and small, stately and minuscule. Although the importance and influence of the jewellery of Java and Bali casts a long shadow that cannot be ignored, these great traditions have mostly been excluded from this particular study. Many ancient pieces have also been omitted – especially those manufactured by the great Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of the 7th–15th century. While the impact of the past is clearly evident, most of the objects here were manufactured in the last two centuries. With careful thought, we have added an appendices featuring objects of uncertain origin and/or age. In contrast to previous publications, which have usually ignored this subject, our purpose is to stimulate a forthright discussion on the subject of determining authenticity instead of dogmatically condemning pieces or ignoring them because they are “different” or unknown. At the very least, we perceive these often beautiful pieces as a contemporary expression of ancient traditions – even if they have been misrepresented in the market. Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago also seeks to follow in the tradition of earlier studies, such as De Inlandsche Kunstnijverheid van Nederlandsche Indië: De Goud- en Zilversmeedkunst (1927), Jasper and Pirngadie’s magisterial and pioneering survey of Indonesian gold and silver work at the beginning of the 20th century. More than half a century would pass before renewed interest would manifest itself in a series of specialised exhibition catalogues and exhibitions, beginning with Indonesische Sieraden (Indonesian Jewellery) (Moor & Kal 1983) at the Tropical Museum in Amsterdam, which was closely followed by Sieraden en Lichaamsversiering uit Indonesië (Jewellery and Body Adornment of Indonesia) (Wassing-Visser 1984), featuring objects from an array of Dutch and Belgian museum collections, displayed in the Volkenkundig Museum Nusantara in Delft. The influence of these publications pale when compared to Power and Gold (Rodgers 1986), the first detailed account of the jewellery of the peoples of Indonesia’s outer islands and their Southeast Asian relatives. Drawn entirely from the collection of the Barbier-Muller Museum in Geneva (since moved to Museum Quai Branly in Paris), the book and exhibition delighted audiences on its international tour and sold thousands of copies over a period of several years. Indonesian gold jewellery has also been a star attraction in numerous other notable exhibitions and catalogues including Old Javanese Gold (Miksic 1990), Nias Tribal Treasures (Lokin 1990), Forgotten Islands of Indonesia 8 p8

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(de Jonge & van Dijk 1995) and Icons of Art: National Museum Jakarta (Sulistianingsih & Miksic 2006). The co-authors of this book have also been long involved in the study of this subject, as proven by Anne Richter’s standard work, Jewelry of Southeast Asia (2000), which includes Indonesian jewellery within the broader regional context, and Islands of Gold, an article on the gold of the Maluku Islands by Bruce W. Carpenter (1994). Aside from museums, we must also mention several significant private collections. One of the best known of these is represented in Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean Pierre Ghysels Collection, the catalogue for an exhibition of several European museums in the 1990s. Other collections include that of Elaine and James Connell of San Francisco (featured in Jewelry of Southeast Asia), F. Liefkes, the former curator of furniture at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Alfred C. Glassell of Texas and Edmund Chin of Singapore. Notably, the last three generously bequeathed their collections to the Leiden Museum of Ethnology and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. The list of important museum collections of gold jewellery includes not only the regional museums of Indonesia, the National Museum in Jakarta and the ex-colonial museums of the Netherlands (in Rotterdam, Delft, Amsterdam and Leiden), but also the Yale Museum and, as mentioned, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. In this historical context, the extensive collection of the Mandala Foundation, carefully gathered over the last 30 years, is of special interest not only because of its high quality, but also due to its astonishing breadth and variety. Quite simply, the collection includes numerous unique, hitherto undocumented examples. The collection not only reinforces the accomplishments of past publications and exhibitions by paying homage to the anonymous jewellery masters of this great archipelagic nation, but also builds on these precedents by expanding knowledge and appreciation for their remarkable accomplishments. This sentiment led to the decision to publish the largest volume ever dedicated to Indonesian jewellery, in order to bring the wonders of this great tradition to the attention of a broad international audience. Many people have helped make this project a success. On behalf of the Mandala Foundation of Singapore, I would like to express my profound thanks to everyone who contributed to the creation of this volume. Above all, I would like to salute authors Anne Richter and Bruce W. Carpenter, photographer Jorg Sundermann, to whom we owe the excellent photos, and the staff and directors of Editions Didier Millet, including designer, Pascal Chan, and editor, Rachael Morris. I would also like to thank David A. Henkel for his most appreciated help with the captions for the Peranakan Chinese objects. Thanks, too, to Jörg Wötzel, whose organisational genius proved an invaluable aid during long photo sessions with countless objects. Finally, special thanks to Henny Tasman and Helmut Paasch for their generous financial support and valuable advice; without it, this project would never have been brought to fruition.

Achim Sibeth Chief Curator and Editor in Chief Mandala Foundation Singapore 9 p9

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Pairs of Taka-shaped Pendants (kapak) Southeast Maluku, 19th century Gold alloy, W 8.9 cm (top) A somewhat rougher variation of the kapak pendant.

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: M4 C0 (All To Spot)(Coagl) Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C3 D/O: 14.10.11 Co: CMPT)

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Southeast Maluku

Anthropomorphic Amulets Tanimbar, Southeast Maluku, 18th–19th century Gold alloy, H 3.1–4.3 cm With the exception of the top-left piece, which features two hornbills, all of these amulets feature a crouching human figure on each side. Notably, the peak of those below feature an open pavilion between the two figures. Omega shaped, they are the furthest eastern example of gold being used for creating variations of the omega form in Indonesia. The detail, seen bottom-left, shows a side view of the top-centre piece.

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Omega-shaped Earrings (mas batu) Babar archipelago, 18th–19th century Gold alloy, H 2.6–8.8 cm Varying from round to teardrop shapes, lelbutir earrings without legs or arms are referred to as mas batu (golden stones) and are generally quite small. As seen in the beautiful high-content gold pair at bottom-right, they were often decorated with crimson thread or trade cloth.

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Southeast Maluku

Robot Earrings (lelbutir) Babar archipelago, 19th century Gold alloy, H 4.2–4.8 cm These elaborate teardrop-shaped robot earrings have unusual features including antenna-like tops (top), twisted-wire borders (centre), and round hands and feet (bottom).

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Bracelet with House and Riders (riti, keke) (top) Timor-Leste, 19th century Silver, W 7.7 cm This bracelet shows an uma lulik flanked by mounted warriors who defend the clan and its lands. This rather fluid and indistinct sculptural style is also seen in other bracelets cast around Maliana and the Bobonaro district. The oval band was designed so the bracelet could be held in the hand during ceremonial dances.

Bracelets with Birds and Bells (riti knei, keke) Central and eastern Timor, 19th–20th century Silver, H 8.7–10 cm On the left piece, sculpted Yellow-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua Sulphurea) are perched on either side of an opening cotton boll. On the Mambai bracelet from the Maubisse area in the centre, geese plunge their bills into the fuku fuan fruit, which evokes fertility and plenitude. The design and the spiral decoration on the band is especially graceful. The birds on the right example may be chattering, greedy Timor Figbirds (Specotheres Viridis). Bracelets of this type were extensively traded into western Timor.

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C4 D/O: 19.10.11 Co: CMPT)

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Timor

Bracelet with a House (riti, keke) Timor-Leste, Mambai, 20th century Silver, H 10.5 cm The circular sacred house (uma lulik) and band show extensive areas of textured spiral decoration. These contrast with the smooth zigzags of the wall pylons and bright globules around the edge of the band and roof. This bracelet was possibly made in the Maubisse area; the control over the deployment of textures and the casting shows considerable expertise.

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Discs with Filigree Decoration (tefan) West Timor, 19th century or earlier Gold, D 6.1–8.8 cm These finely made discs are expertly decorated with spiral ornament in applied filigree. The precision of the work is due, in part, to their high gold content. An important local ruler may have commissioned them from Ndao artisans, or from Sulawesi goldsmiths in Kupang. Their small size suggests they were either attached to a cloth band to form part of a headdress, or were worn on a cord around the neck.

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C4 D/O: 19.10.11 Co: CMPT)

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Elaborate Gold Disc Sulawesi, possibly 13th–16th century

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Gold, D 8.1 cm This outstanding disc is notable for the delicacy and refinement of the wire work bordering the radiating petals or sunbeams, and the complexity of the central floral calyx. It is included as an indication of the types of ornaments that may have been brought to Timor in exchange for sandalwood many centuries ago. Although gold and silver pectoral discs may have evolved from shell ornaments, trade and exchange had other influences on the designs and techniques employed.

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ne of Indonesia’s few non-volcanic islands in the “Ring of Fire” and spanning over 11,000 sq km, Sumba island is unique in a multitude of ways. While the north coast, dotted with coral reefs, mangroves and sheltered bays, is calm, the rugged south coast is pounded by the waves of the Indian Ocean.

The island was created by a clash of tectonic plates that wrenched coral reefs from the bottom of the sea, leaving thousands of fossilised creatures in its limestone hills. The island and its people comprise two distinct halves. The vast, African-like savannah of eastern Sumba turns brown during the “season of hunger” – long and often disastrous dry seasons. Once ruled by haughty aristocrats who referred to themselves as the “fruits and flowers” of the ancestral founders, the society was based on a rigid hierarchy of nobility, free men and slaves. Sharing one language and culture, power was centred in a handful of fortified royal seats and large villages dominated by soaring thatched roofs. Although these princes bickered between themselves, they were bound by a web of intermarriage. Today, the royalty of villages like Rende, Pau and Kepunduk still play a key role in the ritual, economic and political life of their former kingdoms. In the realm of jewellery, they remain the greatest patrons of the goldsmiths of Melolo on the north coast near Rende and Pau. In comparison, the western half of Sumba is a patchwork of smaller feudal villages spread across rugged terrain – especially in areas near fertile valleys irrigated by small rivers. As many as 10 languages are spoken in this group of villages. While the similarity of their languages supports the claim that some villages were formed by migrants from eastern Sumba, in general,

there are as many differences between their customs, beliefs and practices as there are common threads. While arid, western Sumba is significantly wetter and agriculturally far richer, with alluvial irrigated valleys suitable for the planting of the most prestigious food – rice. In ancient times, root crops were the main carbohydrate. Today, maize, introduced during the colonial period, dominates. The peoples’ reputation for being hot-headed and warlike is proven by the defensive hilltop locations of their traditional villages, which are ringed by stone walls and thick hedges with sharp thorns. Early written accounts of Sumba begin with the courtly reports of the Singosari and Majapahit kingdoms (13th–16th century), and are few and frustratingly lacking in detail. Dubbed “Sandalwood Island” by early European traders, the island was an important source of the aromatic wood. Exported to China during the 16th and 17th centuries, the trade briefly propelled Sumba into a burgeoning world trade network before supplies ran out. While this brought an influx of wealth, the exploitation of sandalwood also triggered the destruction of a once dense primary forest that now covers around only 12 percent of the island. Luckily, Sumba never suffered the fate of its northern neighbour Flores, a centre of Portuguese power and influence. Except for minor slave trading and the presentation of “gold plates” (manufactured in Java) to

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Sumba

native rulers (Kapita in Barbier 1988: 136), the island was of little commercial interest due to the practice of headhunting and the tribes’ warlike dispositions. As a result, Sumba’s rich, traditional culture survived well into the 20th century. This would change after 1911 when Wono Kaka, a local hero and headhunter, raided a Dutch military post guarding Waingapu Harbour on the northeast coast. It took 22 years before the colonial government declared the island pacified in 1933. Sumba’s myths of origin emphasise their Austronesian heritage and history. In one legend, Umbu Walu Mandoko, one of two fraternal first ancestors, stepped ashore on the island after his ship was dashed upon the rocks of Sasar, a village on the northwest coast. His elder brother Umbu Walu Sasar would make a more elegant entrance, descending directly from the ancestral heavens upon a noble horse. Once again, such stories can be interpreted as symbolic allegories. As in the legend of Atuf in Tanimbar, the brothers are male solar deities or ancestors who arrived from the west (often thought to represent Java) and brought valuable foreign gifts and technology, in this case the horse. The horse is of special interest in Sumba because of its profound, multifaceted impact. Imported from India to Indonesia in the first centuries CE, it became a prestigious symbol of kingship and power, as well as a means of transport, a trade object and beast of war. Horses probably arrived in Sumba from Java during the late Hindu-Buddhist period. Masterful horsemen, the Sumbanese would breed the Sandalwood Pony, a small but sturdy type of horse renowned throughout Indonesia for its fire and endurance. As an archetypal hero responsible for the arrival of new technologies and trade goods, Umbu Walu Sasar can also be perceived as a composite figure and symbol of multiple historical developments, including metallurgy and trade. These, in turn, resulted in the import of foreign heirlooms (gold, silver, ivory, Indian export textiles and porcelain), which have been long prized and played a central role in Sumbanese society. The extraordinary megalithic culture of Sumba caused great excitement amongst scholars in the early 20th century and is evident at ancient sites like the ancestral village of Laitarung in the west. In many villages there are huge memorial stones and tables weighing tonnes, which were dragged by hundreds of men upon wooden sleds that featured billowing textiles referred to as ships and sails. If distance was not enough, they would eventually erect them on top of steep hills.

The megalithic cultures of Sumba and other areas of insular Southeast Asia also came into prominence after the discovery of a vibrant native Southeast Asian Bronze Age culture in Vietnam. The realisation that the region was home to an ancient sophisticated culture caused the Austrian über-scholar Robert Heine-Geldern to differentiate between “monumental” and “phantasticalmythological” styles in Southeast Asia. The origin of the first, featuring large figures, was attributed to the Neolithic Age. The second, dominated by geometric and abstract designs, including spirals, was attributed to the Bronze Age. Sumba, in his eyes, stood out as magnificent living continuation of the former. While many of Heine-Geldern’s theories have since been challenged, the intimate ritual connection between megalithic art and gold jewellery in the Lesser Sundas is emphatically proven by the many images of the latter carved into the surfaces of stone monuments. These monuments also served as tables during rite of passage ceremonies. Laid atop valuable ikat blankets, they appeared only after proper sacrifices and offerings to the ancestors were made to prevent disaster. Believed to be of celestial origin, gold was linked with the sun. While of great value and beauty, gold was also seen as intrinsically hot and bitter. As such, it was necessary to handle it with great care and respect. Rude speech and behaviour like spitting, for example, could cause the gold to show its displeasure by giving off smoke or steam. Potentially lethal, it was bathed in coconut cream and given regular offerings or feedings of betel nut, egg white and the blood of sacrificed animals, which would often result in dark reddish patinas. The pieces were considered so potent the owners often used slave doubles to handle the gold to avoid mishaps (Hoskins in Barbier 1988: 134). Gold heirloom objects can also be used as a medium through which the merapu priests communicate with the all-powerful ancestors, after who they are named. It can even be used to kill from afar. This is not surprising when one understands that these pieces were not mere decorative objects, but “regalia” that “related to specific exceptional persons, events or places” (Hoskins in Barbier 1988: 134). Together with other precious heirloom materials – porcelain, ivory, bronze – gold was considered an immortal form of wealth, as opposed to valuable but perishable things such as textiles or cattle. Like all heirlooms, it was carefully stored in the high rafters of the royal houses, which are perceived as microcosms of the cosmic order – demons and earth 119 p119

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

A stern-looking West Sumbanese nobleman from Kodi wearing a gold frontal (tabelo) attached to his head cloth and madaka hanging over his heart.

spirits below the house, ancestors in the rafters and humans, charged with the grave duty of creating balance, sandwiched between. The accumulation of heirlooms and valuable imported goods was necessary for the successful creation of alliances, treaties and settlements. Mamuli and textiles, for example, acted as ritual reimbursement during marriage exchange, when the family of the groom paid more than 30 “tails” of water buffalo for a royal bride-to-be (Hoskins 1993: 21). As with stone carvings, gold jewellery is frequently seen in woven textiles. Since the ability of a prospective bride to dye and weave resulted in a higher bride price, these motifs indirectly influenced the ratio of gold, textiles and cattle exchanged. Interestingly, brides weren’t the only ones affected; while the possession of gold jewellery raised the status of eligible bachelors, the Sumbanese scorned social climbers who sought to obscure a humble lineage. Such a man was mocked as “washing himself off with gold” (Hoskins 1993: 22). As elsewhere in the Lesser Sundas and Southeast Maluku, the absence of historical sources of metal, including gold, prompts the question of when, how and why gold and metalwork came to the island. A paucity

of archaeological research (and therefore data) should not be misinterpreted as proof of a late beginning. The earliest metal objects found on the island were socketed axes. Probably of Javanese origin, they date from 200 BCE–200 CE. The large number of Dong Son bronze drums manufactured on the Southeast Asian mainland and scattered about the Lesser Sundas and Southeast Maluku leave little doubt the axes were part of early trade and gift exchange. Perhaps the earliest example of locally made jewellery is a type of heavy bronze arm and leg band displaying distinctive geometric patterns found only on Sumba. It is plausible that some were cast during the same period as the famous bronze axes of Roti, and Weaver bronze of Flores (400–600 CE). According to some legends, the people of Savu, a small island located to the east, introduced metalworking. This is sometimes used to support the conclusion that metalworking arrived in Sumba as late as the Hindu-Buddhist period. The presence of a high percentage of Savunese settlers in East Sumba, as well as the existence of an itinerant class of Savunese smiths on the small island of Ndao, off the coast of Roti, are also used to support this hypothesis. However, these suppositions don’t take into account that, like the Sumbanese themselves, the Savunese believe they originated in Java. While it is clear from history, and by the range of ethnic groups on these islands, that there wasn’t any great Javanese migration or conquest, it is more likely we are again dealing with symbolic allegories. While metallurgy may have come to Sumba later than the Bronze Age centres on Flores and Roti, it seems unlikely they lagged too far behind. A Bronze Age burial site near the smith village of Melolo also gives pause for thought. The use of gold, however, probably began in the Hindu-Buddhist period as a direct result of the sandalwood trade. In the 1980s, one of the elders of Anakalang (personal communication 2005) said that madaka (p. 152) were the most ancient and sacred of all gold heirlooms in West Sumba and were presented by the rajas of Java as tokens of high office. The extraordinary weight, beauty and smooth worn patinas speak of enormous age and give credence to this story. A close study also reveals that the madaka is a specific variation of the mamuli form, with a row of radiating spokes. In addition, one of the two finials (which are on each side of the opening) protrudes further than the other and is comparable with other open oval forms like the duri-duri of the Batak in distant Sumatra. According

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Sumba

to the informant, the madaka was a stylised naga dragon: the radiating spokes were its spine and the opening was its mouth. Of all the jewellery of Sumba, the mamuli is the best known. A visual tour de force, its elegant omega-shaped modernistic form – often combined with whimsical imagery including plants, animals, ships and battle scenes – is often seen on the covers of many books, catalogues and magazines. Its association with the female sexual organ, fecundity and magical powers has also magnified the lure of the mamuli. However, such mainstream popularity does not diminish the profound role played by heirloom jewellery in the ritual, religious, social, ceremonial and artistic life of the Sumbanese over the centuries. In Sumba, the mamuli is only one of many striking gold pieces, including the horn-shaped lamba crowns decorated with vibrant scenes, and long, thick kanatar chains with huge finials. Another extraordinary type of gold jewellery, found only in West Sumba, is the strikingly shaped marangga (p. 153). While the same shape is found in Flores (taka) and Babar (kapak), these are dwarfed by the giants of West Sumba, which can weigh hundreds of grams and measure 35 cm across. Historical photos showing scores of marangga displayed on bamboo frames remind us of the prevalence and sheer volume of gold objects. Ironically, the origin of this appealing, modernistic form could be a certain type of delicate twisted-wire earring (p. 11), the ends of which have been beaten flat. As with many other Indonesian peoples, the water buffalo is of great importance to every aspect of Sumbanese society and is mirrored in the impressive horn-shaped crowns worn by Sumbanese royalty and known as lamba in the east and tabelo in the west. While this form is also found throughout the Lesser Sundas and Maluku – where it is also associated with the ubiquitous ships of the ancestors – the lamba of Sumba differ because they are often decorated with lively pictorial scenes featuring equestrian figures, animals and enigmatic magic symbols. Made of high carat gold and beaten thinly, they are reinforced with carefully sewn-on strips of rattan and stored in purpose-built carved wooden boxes that are themselves works of art. The crowns are also compared to enormous water buffalo horns mounted on the facades of traditional houses. Trophies from sometimes as many as 500 beasts sacrificed at royal funerals, they testify to the greatness and wealth of the deceased.

The evolution of the mamuli in Sumba, where it arguably achieves its ultimate form, gives great insight into the dynamism and unique character of the island. As elsewhere in the Lesser Sundas and Maluku, small metallic versions of Neolithic jade earrings from the Southeast Asian mainland were introduced between 200 BCE–400 CE. Although the basic form, meanings and origins are shared, local styles vary greatly from island to island. In most cases, these remained small but on Sumba the mamuli would grow in size, weight and complexity. Small metallic versions of the basic diamond-shaped Sumba form with a round hole and concave centre have been regularly found in burial grounds, which are constantly being re-excavated for new monuments. A pair of near identical earrings found in Krui, Sumatra (Brinkgreve & Sulistianingsih 2009: 34) suggests the Sumbanese versions also date from the Bronze Age. The discovery of larger but still simple gold versions with Sung and Ming Dynasty sherds suggests the use of precious metal fuelled by the lucrative trade in sandalwood between the 12th–15th century. Over the following centuries, not only the size but the complexity would increase as the finials were extended with boat and plant imagery. It reached its pinnacle in the second half of the 19th century, when lively export of cattle and horses again brought new wealth to the nobles, whose tastes became distinctly bold and baroque. According to Hoskins (1993: 136), these functioned as memorials to “a charismatic ancestor”. Not surprisingly, the new style featured numerous well-sculpted animals including cattle. Other popular themes seen are hairy goats, deer, water buffalo, fighting cocks and especially cockatoos. By the end of the century, most mamuli were too large to fit into even elongated earlobes and were instead sewn to clothing, head cloths or worn around the neck. There was a move towards even more Baroque versions following the institution of colonial rule; these included complex battle scenes and movable parts. Today, mamuli are still the standard fare of the smiths of Melolo who manufacture them for both local markets and export. While there are those who bemoan the loss of the past, such change is inevitable. The best method of honouring the old ways is not to weep but rather to document and research. When the time is right, the Sumbanese and other peoples will rediscover their heritage on their own terms. BC 121 p121

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Head or Pectoral Ornament with Vegetal Motifs Central Flores, Ngada, NagĂŠ, 19th century or earlier Gold alloy, W 16.5 cm Leafy branches in beaten gold spread outwards from a central point of growth and energy. They also symbolise the cosmic tree or vine that links the underworld and the celestial sky realm of sunlight.

168 p168

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11

10/19/11 4:57 PM


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Flores Noblemen’s Crown (lado wea) Central Flores, Nagé, 19th–20th century Gold alloy, H 35.5 cm This crown, worn by men of high nobility for important ceremonies like the erection of shrines for ancestors, presents an image of the layered cosmos in its totality. The lower section evokes a boat and also a pair of celestial birds or naga, the mythical snakes of the underworld. The surmounting spires of gold resembling tall leaves or cocks’ feathers represent the upper world of sunshine, light and ancestral authority. The spires are embossed with delicate images of trees or plants below and are lightly engraved with feathery motifs above.

169 p169

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210 p210

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: M5 C0 (All To Spot)(Coagl) Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C5 D/O: 03.11.11 Co: CMPT)

03/11/2011 3:02 PM


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Maluku

Sulawesi

211 p211

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L

ocated in the centre of the archipelago, Sulawesi is an intersection between east, west, north and south. Only 16 million inhabitants are scattered over its 174,600 sq km, and its oddly shaped, long coastlines and lush mountains boast unique flora and fauna that include 79 species of endemic mammals found nowhere else. Sulawesi’s immense importance as a major Bronze Age centre is mirrored in the sanggori, a spiral head ornament once worn by the noblemen of Central Sulawesi. The island also boasts its own archaic variation of the open, oval-shaped earring or mamulitype. Known on the island as taiganja (p. 258–261), these magical protective pendants are associated with fertility and were hung from glass bead necklaces and clothing. They were usually cast in brass and bronze using the lost wax method. Although extremley rare, magnificent gold examples, both excavated and handed down from generation to generation, have also been found. In contrast to the raw intensity of these archaic forms, the gold jewellery of the coastal peoples, dominated by the Bugis, Makassarese and Mandarese, among others, is far more refined. This is seen in the virtuoso filigree work of often lacy wedding cuffs (p. 220), worn only by those of the highest status. Closely related to the Toraja peoples of the interior, the Bugis only converted to Islam in the early 17th century. In jewellery, Islamic influence is seen in pairs of beautiful gold and silver discs (kuwari) worn over the navel and back. While decorated with magical Islamic diagrams (fikr) and Arabic calligraphy, the similarity of these protective amulets to the headhunting trophy discs (mas bulan) of the eastern islands, and the fact that they are

unique to the Bugis people, suggest they are a merger of old forms and beliefs in a new religious context. Scholars believe the first Austronesians arrived in Sulawesi nearly 5,000 years ago from east Borneo, which lies 200 km to the west. According to the Buginese myths of origin, the first ancestors established villages on the shores of lakes Tempe and Sidereng, in the Bugis heartland. As seen in several places in the archipelago, including Pasemah, Kerinci and West Sumatra, the first Austronesian settlers seem to have preferred highland lakes, perhaps because of the fertile soil, constant supply of water and absence of mosquitoborne diseases. In the case of the Bugis, however, this did not disrupt their close connection with the sea. One of the most spectacular mainland Dong Son bronze drums in Indonesia (c. 100 CE), with four large frogs on its tympanum, is still found on Selayar, an island off the coast of southwest Sulawesi, which was obviously an important early trade centre. Other things help mark Sulawesi as an important centre of Neolithic Bronze Age culture including huge megalithic stone statues found in the vicinity of Napu Valley, a singular style of terracotta (kalumpang), and mysterious bronze and brass artefacts, including small human ancestor figurines (pinatau) found in Central Sulawesi. Indeed, the continuation of the megalithic tradition among the Toraja and Kulawi peoples well into the 20th century

212 p212

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: M5 C0 (All To Spot)(Coagl) Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C5 D/O: 03.11.11 Co: CMPT)

03/11/2011 5:21 PM


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Sulawesi

suggests a late Bronze Age culture flourished in the isolated interiors as late as the 6th–7th century CE. Finds also include numerous gold objects, such as eye, nose and mouth covers (p. 18) and the taiganja amulets. The Bronze Age legacy is also seen in the distinctive decorative geometric motifs – spirals, triangles and hooked lozenges – seen in traditional architecture and textiles. As in many places in the archipelago, including Southeast Maluku, the archaic religion of the ancient peoples of Sulawesi, including the Bugis and the Toraja, revolved around the worship of ancestors and nature spirits. The high gods were the Sun and the Moon. The former, the god called Dewata Sisiné, ruled high above in the seventh level of heaven, and his wife Pérétiwi, the goddess of the earth, reigned seven levels below. During an eclipse, she would bear male-female twins, the male of which became the solar god La Patigana. After generations of mixed-sex twins, other gods would come forth, including those of dawn, rain and thunder – considered the fire of the gods. The fertility goddesses would be charged with growing iron and gold in the mountains. The first humans, the royalty of Luwu (the most ancient Bugis court) believed themselves to be the descendents of this celestial lineage (Pelras 1996: 86). Being highly successful rice farmers, the cult of the sacred goddess of rice, Dewi Sri (known on the island as Sangiang Serri), was also of great importance to the Bugis. The end of the rice harvest signalled a period of ritual hunting of heads to settle old scores and to ensure the fertility of the next crop. In the case of nobles, blood sacrifice was a prerequisite in gaining the blessings of the ancestors, establishing a family’s position in society and again fertilising the earth. The cult of the rice goddess is also prominent in Toraja society where rice is described as the golden plant of the Upper World. Associated with the sun and the stars, rice, humans and buffaloes were “first fashioned from gold which lay in the smithy of Puang Matua …” (Nooy-Palm 1988: 44–46), the Toraja high god. In one critical ceremony (manglullu’ ) that occurs during the rice lifecycle, women wear necklaces of gold beads (described as grains of rice) and tread on rice seeds placed on a board to prepare them for planting (Nooy-Palm 1988). These seeds are then spread over the newly prepared nursery and later transplanted. Such necklaces – which are strung with mutisala (glass beads made in Arikmedu, India, in the early centuries CE) – are still an essential element of Toraja traditional clothing.

Another rare example of the relationship between gold and rice is the open-worked necklace seen on p. 256. Mighty water buffaloes would wear these during ploughing rituals. The appearance of snakes and naga dragons in woodcarvings and jewellery suggest a powerful naga cult on the island. These are also seen in spiral tattoos that appear on archaic tau-tau: life-sized ancestor statues used by the Toraja. While tattooing is common among the descendents of Austronesians, it had largely disappeared by the 20th century. The memory of the common tattoo patterns, dating from as early as the 16th century, have been preserved in wood. So-called snake necklaces (kamagi), cleverly fabricated from thousands of miniature interlocking beads that can twist and turn like interlocking snakes, are one of the most popular types of heirloom necklaces found in Central Sulawesi. The absence of smiths capable of such extraordinary work in the last century, combined with the discovery of identical beads in excavations, leads to the conclusion that they date from the 10th–14th century. Though most members of the Kulawi ethnic group who dominate Central Sulawesi have long since converted to Islam or Christianity, many of the old ways still persist. The placement of the sanggori “snake” atop the heads of noble males, both of which are associated with the solar hero, could be symbolic of a balance and union of the polar forces of the universe: sky-earth, male-female. On rare occasions, sanggori also feature human faces (p. 9), including revered heroes. These heroes are personified in Sawerigading, a royal Bugis prince and adventurer who lusted after his twin sister. This is an ontological myth echoed among many Indonesian societies, including the Batak of Sumatra. Ironically, while incest is strongly censured in all Indonesian societies and believed to bring calamity, many peoples trace their origin to the birth of twins of different sex, who are believed to have committed incest in the womb. This censure of incest was so extreme in some places (Bali, for instance) that the birth of malefemale twins resulted in terrible sanctions and certain death for at least one of the pair. The beliefs and culture of the local people were also impacted by contact with Hindu cultures. While no Hinduised states rose in Sulawesi that were comparable to Kutai in east Kalimantan (4th century), centuries of contact with the Hindu-Buddhist world through expanding trading networks is evident in many

Two Kulawi girls in ceremonial costume wearing kamagi bead necklaces, armbands and headbands. 213 p213

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A royal ceremony of the palace of the Sultan of Gowa, near Makassar. The older woman with dangling earrings, necklace, bangles and a crown upon her lap appears to be a transvestite bissu priestess – a holdover from old pre-Islamic rituals. Bissu were in charge of the caretaking of royal heirlooms and rituals.

Buddhist finds in Selayar and other coastal regions. By far the most impressive is a large, exquisite standing bronze Buddha found in Mandar, South Sulawesi. Originally from Amaravati, an early Buddhist kingdom (300–600 CE) and major trading port in south India, the statue is now in the National Museum in Jakarta. In many areas, Hindu mythology also merged with local beliefs. The solar god, La Patigana, would become a son of Siwa and Luwu; the first Bugis kingdom was founded by Batara Guru, another incarnation of Siwa. Another example is the word bissu, the name of the transvestite priestesses of the old religion, which is derived from the Sanskrit word bhiksu, or monk. Scores of excavated gold snake necklaces (p. 28), usually described as being Khmer in origin, are certainly the legacy of a dynamic trade network that linked Angkor, Champa, the kingdom of Butuan on Mindanao, the southern Philippines, Borneo and Sulawesi between the 10th–13th century. So many have been found, it is possible they were manufactured

locally. Original examples and variations clearly inspired by the same have been found as far east as the islands of Southeast Maluku. The ceremonial use of gold chains – often with snake or naga finials – as royal insignia in the Philippines, Flores, Sumba and the Maluku Islands may even have originated on Sulawesi. Indeed, there is reason to believe that many of the most ancient gold pieces found throughout this region belong to an archaic cultural matrix shared by all at one point many centuries ago. While dating is problematic because of the continual manufacture of later versions, there can be no doubt many pieces date back as far as 500 years. The rise of the Luwu kingdom was directly stimulated by the thriving export of sandalwood, a nickel-rich iron ore (much in demand in Java for the forging of krisses) and gold, which was panned in the rivers of Luwu and the Toraja highlands between the 10th–14th century. Wealth and contact with the outside world stimulated growing ambitions in the Luwu kingdom, which was ruled by haughty aristocrats. These ambitions led to the creation of royal courts and generated a large amount of gold paraphernalia, including a wide array of gold jewellery. This and the preceding period are of great interest because of the insight they offer into the sophisticated and well-organised Austronesian societies and the impact of early forms of Hinduism and Buddhism. This influence included the introduction of a Bugis script, which was based on Hindu precedents. It resulted in one of the world’s longest epic stories, La Galigo. The book glorifies the adventures of the Bugis prince, Sawerigading, which include wars to subdue rival kings and marry their daughters. Numerous references to the Majapahit empire (Mancapai) led Christian Pelras (1996: 77) to conclude that La Galigo was authored between the 14th–15th century, although its oral version is probably older. Pelras also speaks of a La Galigo culture that included “golden necklaces and bracelets, headdresses (signera’ ), anklets, armbands, bracelets, ornamental pins and combs …”, as well as a scarf sewn with golden cut outs that were worn by noblewomen during ceremonies featuring circular dances, similar to those performed in the Maluku Islands. The major trading links at that time seem to have been with Sumatra and even the Minangkabau people, who would later play a critical role in Sulawesi and are mentioned in La Galigo. The Maluku Islands, the source of the spices that would attract the attention of Europe,

214 p214

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: M5 C0 (All To Spot)(Coagl) Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C5 D/O: 03.11.11 Co: CMPT)

03/11/2011 3:12 PM


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Sulawesi

are also mentioned. By the 16th century, the old kingdom of Luwu found itself competing politically and commercially with two new formidable rival kingdoms, Bone, founded in 1509, and Makassar-Gowa, in 1535. Even today, Makassar remains a major centre of gold and silver metallurgy. One of the most intriguing objects, probably fabricated there in the 16th century, is a type of gold kris with Hindu imagery that is clearly influenced by Majapahit gold. Several plaques found in Southeast Maluku (p. 69) were also probably made in Makassar. According to Pinto, a Spaniard drawn to Sulawesi in 1544 by stories of rich gold deposits, all the sources of gold in North Sulawesi were under the control of Makassar. Islam would come relatively late to Sulawesi. It began at the end of the 16th century with the conversion of Gorontalo in the north by proselytisers from Ternate (an Islamic kingdom in the Maluku Islands). The aristocratic Bugis, repelled by the emphasis on equality, resisted and, in a few cases, even dabbled with Christianity. In 1605, the tiga datu, three charismatic Minangkabau preachers, convinced the king of Luwu, (thereafter known as Sultan Mohammad) to embrace the new faith. Two years later, the Sultan of Gowa would follow. The datu obviously didn’t find it easy to convert the local inhabitants. One of the datu, Abdul Makmur, had come much earlier, in 1575, and failed miserably, not only because of the local fondness for “pork and palm wine” but also because of the aristocracy, who blanched at the idea that all men were created equal in the eyes of Allah. The similarity between the jewellery of the coastal people of Sulawesi and Minangkabau is probably due to organisations akin to trade guilds, called serikat, who also functioned as mystical orders with branches in several places. Minangkabau gold- and silversmiths from Sumatra may have visited and introduced the use of techniques such as fine filigree, which had long been famous in the Padang highlands of Sumatra. It would also explain the deep mystical side of this jewellery, which includes magical drawings, symbols and calligraphy meant to protect the wearer. Obviously, the smiths would had to have been well versed in such knowledge in order to manufacture them. Because of strong links between Sumatra and Sulawesi (and Borneo in between) that existed for many centuries, it is better to view these similarities as just another episode in an ongoing exchange, rather than a single transfer of technology or style. While

some of the gold work from Sumatra and Sulawesi could be described as generic Malay and therefore indistinguishable, most Sulawesi gold jewellery is imbued with its own recognisable character. The Bugis people always remained proud of their unique heritage – even in Riau and Johor where they interacted and even merged with Malay culture, first as guardians and ministers of local potentates (whom they later replaced). For this reason, it is difficult to simply classify their jewellery as Malay in style, even though it shares many of the same characteristics. While the jewellery traditions of Sulawesi may be considered part of the greater Malay tradition that originated in Sumatra, and flourished and held sway in the courts, they still retain a distinct identity of their own. Entrepreneurs, adventurers, brave warriors and hardy sailors, in the 17th century, the Bugis and Makassarese sailed as far as Siam (present-day Thailand) in the north, Sumatra in the west, New Guinea in the east and Australia in the south. In Bali, Sumatra and Borneo, they were often hired as mercenaries, and in Johor, they were appointed as royal viceroys in local courts. In Riau-Lingga they would overthrow their liege and establish their own dynasty. They also founded kingdoms such as Bima in eastern Sumbawa. Bugis traders created a link between the eastern islands and in many cases influenced local arts, including an active trade in gold and silver jewellery. Their independent streak, occasional ferocity and native cunning quickly earned them a formidable reputation as pirates and untrustworthy barbarians in the West. In 1669, with the help of Arung Palaka, the sultan of Bone, the Dutch would break the back of Makassar and establish it as their foremost base of power in the eastern half of the Indonesian archipelago. Ironically, this defeat seems to have accelerated the spread and penetration of the Makassarese and Buginese. In spite of the Dutch victory, troubles with the Bugis persisted in many places well into the 18th century. In the struggle for independence, the people of Sulawesi were among the staunchest of Indonesian nationalists, and today they are considered to be some of the most remarkable and dynamic people in Indonesian history. Makassar and Kendari are still important centres for the manufacture of gold and silver jewellery and objects, both traditional and modern, and their smiths are regarded as some of the most talented in the nation. BC 215 p215

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Necklace with Crescents and Fish South Sulawesi, Bugis, 19th century Gold, L 40 cm Similar chain necklaces with multiple elements were also manufactured in West Sumatra and Aceh, where the last royal dynasty was of Buginese heritage.

228 p228

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: M5 C0 (All To Spot)(Coagl) Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11

03/11/2011 4:30 PM


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Naga Dragon Armband South Sulawesi, Bugis, 18th–19th century Gold, rubies, D 8.7 cm With its gaping jaws, long fangs, scaly skin and ruby eyes, this powerful image was not made to please but to evoke awe in the belief that it brought magical protection to the wearer. As in Java (where the tradition continues today), naga bracelets were an essential part of a bridegroom’s costume.

229 p229

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Zoomorphic Amulets (taiganja) Central Sulawesi, 16th–19th century or earlier Gold, H 3.6–4.1 cm The sides of each of these unusually shaped pieces are decorated with stylised animals – naga dragons (top), a dog-like creature (centre) and bird heads (bottom).

260 p260

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: M5 C0 (All To Spot)(Coagl) Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C5 D/O: 03.11.11 Co: CMPT)

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Amulet with Flanking Creatures (taiganja) Central Sulawesi, 16th–19th century or earlier Gold, H 5.5 cm, 103 g Bold and angular in concept and design, this large and unusual taiganja features flanking cut outs of stylised legged creatures with bird heads looking over their shoulders. Dating of such pieces is extremely problemattic. Terracotta moulds probably used to cast taiganja have been dated to as early as the 17th century; however, it is possible that some of them date back as far as Java’s pre-classical period (4th–6th century). It is uncertain when manufacture ended. According to Kaudern (1925), few, if any, smiths were manufacturing them at the beginning of the 20th century.

261 p261

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304 p304

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C6 D/O: 08.11.11 Co: CMPT)

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South and West Sumatra

Buckles (pandieng) West Sumatra, Minangkabau, 19th century Gold, copper, haematite, W 16.9–22.7 cm Twining floral and leaf motifs were often drawn from wellknown woodcarving patterns adapted for metalwork. In the top-left buckle, the central lotus motif is surrounded by a band of four-petalled flowers and leaves resembling the “caterpillar sucking flower” pattern. It also includes stylised conch shell motifs on either side, which are presumably residues from the distant Hindu-Buddhist past. The other buckles are beautifully embossed and engraved, and the central lotuses set with haematite are delicately framed in applied filigree.

305 p305

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

338 p338

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C7 D/O: 10.11.11 Co: CMPT)

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Peranakan Chinese

Belt with Birds and Mythological Figures South Sumatra or Batavia, late 19th–20th century Gold, L 71 cm This belt with different scenes on every segment is another fine example of the high level of skill and dexterity that Chinese goldsmiths in Indonesia were famous for. The intricate workmanship of the high relief repoussé work, as well as the use of faceted granulation and intricate appliqué work create a dense and rich effect that is rarely, if ever, achieved by today’s craftsmen.

339 p339

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Protective Necklace (bura-bura) Karo Batak, 20th century Silver-gilt, red cord, L 96 cm With their complex massive central pendants and fine filigree-worked surfaces and danglers, bura-bura are among the most impressive of the traditional necklaces of the Karo Batak people. Worn interchangeably by men and women, all jewellery was believed to have the magical power to ward off malevolent influences.

358 p358

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C7 D/O: 10.11.11 Co: CMPT)

09/11/2011 5:20 PM


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Batak

Central Elements (bura-bura) Karo Batak, 20th century Silver-gilt, W 19.9 cm (top) Dominated by a crescent form with a central roundel from which lines of granulated balls extend in the cardinal directions, the central pendants of burabura are reminiscent of ships, buffalo horns and the moon. Rows of danglers, like festoons, dangle along the lower edges. The piece seen below is featured in full on p. 6.

359 p359

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

364 p364

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C11 D/O: 25.11.11 Co: CM11)

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Batak

Bell-shaped Earrings (karabu kudung-kudung) Karo Batak, 20th century Silver-gilt, H 11.5 cm In comparison to more archaic versions, the bell shapes on this later type of raja mehuli are three-dimensional and are totally covered with ďŹ ligree surface decoration, “roofâ€? shapes (like those seen in the sertali rumah-rumah necklaces), spirals and danglers that give the earrings the appearance of lanterns.

365 p365

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Men’s Armband with Large Granulation (gelang sarung) Karo Batak, 20th century Silver-gilt, suasa, D 14.5 cm While they all share the same joining system and protrusions on each side, there are two distinct styles of gelang sarung. The ďŹ rst, as seen here, is more minimalistic and features decorative spines created by rows of granulated balls of gradually diminishing size. Worn by aristocratic men, they are important statements of status.

378 p378

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C7 D/O: 10.11.11 Co: CMPT)

09/11/2011 6:00 PM


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Men’s Armband with Spirals (gelang sarung) Karo Batak, 20th century Silver-gilt, suasa, D 16 cm The side extensions on the second type of gelang sarung, seen here, consist of four to six circles formed with coiled wire and topped by a large plain knob. The surfaces of the piece opposite are undecorated whereas, here, they have been embellished with rows of diamond shapes with a scaly pattern.

379 p379

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M

ountainous Nias island is situated to the west of Sumatra, and although the distance between the two islands is only about 120 km, choppy seas and high coral cliffs have contributed to its relative isolation. The steep hillsides are covered with clove and rubber trees, while rice is cultivated in undulating fertile areas. Until their conversion to Christianity in the 19th century, the people of Nias seem to have been almost impervious to outside religious and artistic influences in their creation of what is arguably the most majestic and beautiful architecture and gold jewellery in Indonesia. In Nias myth, the original mist and chaos was replaced by the Tree of Life from which grew the deities that created the world and human beings. The Tree symbolises the entire universe in its celestial and underworld aspects. The upper realm is the domain of the male deity Lowalangi and the lower is that of his brother, Lature Dano. Lowalangi’s sister-wife, Silewe Nazarata, is an ambivalent and sometimes androgynous deity. She is the intermediary between her brothers and humanity. In the creation myth, Silewe Nazarata turns her finger ring into a gigantic serpent that encircles the earth and causes earthquakes and storms. The serpent is associated with the Milky Way galaxy, the rainbow and the primeval river, which flows between the lower and upper worlds and along which the dead journey to the afterworld. Historically, her followers were the healers, priests and priestesses of traditional religion. Nias mythology is reflected in the layout of villages and the design of houses. In southern Nias, the village is approached by a grand stone staircase that opens out at the top into a paved plaza filled with megaliths that memorialise particular ritual feasts and ancestors, and

stone seats carved in the form of mythical creatures. All these elements work together to create an impression of archaic grandeur. These majestic stone cities have exerted considerable fascination over European visitors since the 19th century. The village is a model on earth of the heavenly village, Teteholi ana’a, the home of the deity Sirao, creator of the gods and human beings. Fortified villages were laid out so the entrance gateway notionally occupied the lower world, while the chief’s great house and the village meeting house were located in the upper realm at the opposite end. In Nias, the role played by gold ornaments in articulating social hierarchy is very explicit. The exclusive relationship between the aristocracy and the upper world of dazzling light, sun, birds, yellow and pale colours, silk, yellow gold, warrior prowess, beauty and grace is sharply defined. The dim lower world association with agriculture, uncouth commoners, blackness, redness, serpents, cotton cloth and an inferior copper alloy is also very clear. Together, the upper and lower world, aristocrats and commoners constitute the totality of the cosmos and human society. Each is essential to the other. The golden glow of aristocracy would be bereft of sacred significance unless it was brought into contrast with and witnessed by economically productive and much more numerous commoners. Slaves were not categorised as human beings and played no role in community life.

388 p388

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C7 D/O: 10.11.11 Co: CMPT)

10/11/2011 6:10 PM


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Nias

Since conversion to Christianity, the people of Nias have ceased conducting the large-scale rituals and feasts central to their old religion. Feasts of merit, which are more concerned with the village community and life-cycle celebrations, continue. These are held for the erection of megaliths, the building of traditional houses, marriages, funerals, the lifetime achievements of village chiefs and to dedicate items of gold jewellery. Feasts (owasa) are described by Suzuki (1959: 112–114) as “enactments of the cosmic drama in which the feast givers and participants are fulfilling their role in the cosmic order.” Mock battles evoke the opposing elements of the cosmos, the contrast between upper and lower worlds, light and dark, male and female. The destruction of property, including the mass slaughter of pigs, and, in the past, the proxy killing of the noble feast sponsor through the killing of a slave signifies the death of the cosmos followed by its rebirth in the reinstatement of the Tree of Life in the form of a megalith. “Through the owasa ... the sponsor sacrifices himself, but just as light and life come from death and destruction, so too honour and prestige for proffering lavish feasts.” As a sponsor gives more feasts, he climbs ever higher through the upper echelons of nobility to the primeval river’s source and is ultimately united with the Tree of Life, the world tree. The sponsor of a feast and his family wear ceremonial garments in bold colours of red, blue, black and yellow. They are arrayed in large and spectacular gold ornaments appropriate to their social station and they progress towards acquisition of the full set of ornaments they are permitted to wear. Commoners may wear a maximum of five jewels – earrings, bracelet and three types of necklace – and must give a separate feast for each jewel. The nobility are entitled to more than 20 types of gold ornament and may dedicate the first five with one feast, but must also erect megaliths, a traditional stone house and hold feasts for these before being entitled to the full panoply of gold ornaments. Images of these pieces were carved on house panels as evidence of entitlement to wear them. In southern Nias, an earring of a certain quality and weight is made for a man’s wife after the wedding and is dedicated with a feast. In central Nias, the man’s jewellery is made first. This is followed by a gold bracelet and another feast and so on until all the permitted ornaments have been made and dedicated at feasts, which escalate in cost and complexity with the importance of the jewel.

Two types of feasts are devoted to the making of gold ornaments. The first, folau ana’a, is held for the making of the first set of gold jewels, which includes earrings, necklace, bracelets, a tiara and false moustache. The second, famadri ana’a, is given when a noble sponsor has accumulated the full set of ceremonial jewellery for himself and his wife. At an owasa held for the dedication of gold jewellery, the symbolic death of the sponsor is enacted when the presiding traditional priest attacks the ceremonial golu tree branch as an emblem of the passing away of the world. In the past, a slave was killed in place of the owasa sponsor. After this vicarious death, the sponsor was “reborn” with a new identity and title appropriate to the wearer of a full set of jewels. This final feast was marked by the carving of a wooden cock, la’ija, an emblem of the totality of the cosmos and equivalent to a megalith. Miniature goldsmithing tools would be suspended from the wooden cock. The nobleman who reached this stage had arrived at the river’s source; he had become divine and his identity was at one with the upper world; he had “crowed like a cock”. The rebirth of the cosmos and creation of new social identities for sponsors and their wives required the making of new jewels. This contrasts with the

This noblewoman from South Nias is adorned in elegant golden ear pendants that resemble seed pods (p. 413). 389 p389

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

This nobleman from South Nias is arrayed in the full panoply of ceremonial ornaments: a golden crown and moustache, a long gold ear pendant and a spiral necklace of gold wire. His chest is covered by a golden hair comb and on one arm he wears an enormous gold bracelet. His clothing is appliquéd in gold. On the right is a display of spiral gold wire necklaces.

traditions of eastern Indonesian societies where gold ornaments are handed from generation to generation and regarded as the legacy of the ancestors and the embodiment of clan identity. Much of the gold jewellery worn for owasa is decorated with geometrical and plant motifs that evoke the Tree of Life. While there is an overall consistency in style throughout the island, there is variation in forms and decorative motifs. In the north, village chieftains were splendidly arrayed in gold crowns (saembu ana’a) resembling a tall jutting palm leaf rising above a rattan and cloth headband with attached conical ornaments (p. 391, 398–399, 404–405). In the Hinako islands west of Nias, similar head ornaments were worn by female aristocrats. In northern Nias, smooth undecorated gold sheet was worked into pleats

in the broad, flat circlets worn around the neck by men (nifatofato) (p. 420–422). Large curling double-spiral ear ornaments in ridged gold sheet (gaule) were worn at the right ear by men (p. 408–409). In the south, crowns of chieftains and noblemen were composed of palm leaves, coiling fern shoots, grasses and deer antlers replicated in thin gold sheet. The ornaments and costume of female aristocrats in the south was based on that of the healing priestesses who were followers of Silewe Nazarata. The symmetrical arrangement of womens’ jewellery, in contrast to mens’, also derives from this sacred role. (Feldman 1989: 211). The diadem worn by women was worked in intricate patterns (p. 394, 396–397). Projecting bars on either side decorated with several golden discs (taraho) were attached to the back. The diadem of royal women was surmounted by delicate branches with trembling golden fern leaves. Hair combs with gold birds and tall sprouting leaves (sukhu ana’a) were worn at the back of the head by both royal and noble women (p. 393–395). Long, leaf-shaped ear pendants (sialu) were worn in pairs by women and as a single ornament in the right ear by men (p. 410–412). A heavy circlet of twisted gold wire (nifulufulu) adorned the necks of both men and women (p. 424–429). Double-spiral ear ornaments of thick gold wire (fondulu) were worn at only the right ear by men (p. 408–409). Massive bracelets of gold sheet pressed over wooden forms were made in two sections that fitted together (p. 431–433). These bracelets (worn in pairs by women and singly on the right arm by men) resemble the shell bracelets carved from the shell of the giant clam (Tridacna Gigas) (p. 430–433). Thin gold sheet can be worked cold with relative ease and the delicate motifs inscribed on ornaments of thin gold sheet mostly refer to attributes of the nobility and to fertility. Rows of short triangles (ni’omene) that represent spear tips are evocative of heroism; the tall triangle and the pointed spade (ni’obatelai), greatness and nobility; the wheel (ni’ogama), unity and firmness of purpose; the running spiral pattern (ni’osolafiga), unity and cooperation; and breast-like circles (ni’omeme roto) symbolise nurturance. Curling fern shoots (n’otalinga wali wali) are pervasive not only as embossed motifs, but also in the curvilinear and spiral forms of ear ornaments. Fern coils evoke growth, fertility and the life force. On many ornaments, and especially women’s flat golden necklaces (kalambagi), a circular floral motif (ni’oafi-afi ) is emblematic of aristocracy (Koestoro & Wiradnyana 2007: 58–60).

390 p390

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11

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Nias

This nobleman of North Nias wears a high crown (tuwu or saemba ana’a ) in the form of a golden palm leaf.

It has been suggested that ni’oafi-afi may derive from the floral motifs on highly valued Indian patola cloths exported to Indonesia during the 15th–18th century, which only the Nias aristocracy could have afforded (Rodgers 1985: 319). However, it has also been associated with the soma-soma flower of traditional religion and the functions of the priesthood that marked the boundary between the realms of the living and the dead. In Nias, gold jewellery was made by male aristocrats. As in many other Indonesian societies, their skills and tools were regarded as magical and the process of manufacture was essentially a religious ritual. The gold to be used was suspended before ancestral statues, the ancestors were informed about the type of jewellery to be made, and their blessing and protection were sought. The smelting process was likened to the death of the gold, which, despite its identification with the sun, was also understood to come out of the earth. It was from the death of the original gold that new life, in the form of a new ornament, arose. Thus, the creation of a gold jewel was analogous to the re-creation of the world and, as such, the role of nature was usurped by human beings. Placatory offerings in the form of sacrificed pigs and the performance of other rituals were essential to the manufacture of jewellery. The danger inherent in

the work also arose from the immense heat required to smelt or “kill” the gold that generated cosmic imbalance. Cooling ceremonies, such as sprinkling the new jewel with holy water and making offerings to the ancestors, were required to renew order and harmony. There are clear parallels with the dramas of cosmic death and rebirth enacted in owasa and also with headhunting, another exclusively male activity on Nias island in the past. The skill of Niha goldsmiths in smelting, gilding, hammering, repoussé and filigree was of a high order. Some jewellery was made with gold wire by using an iron drawplate with holes of decreasing size. Long slivers of gold were drawn repeatedly through the holes until they acquired the desired thickness (de Moor 1990: 121). Although the people of Nias believe their island was rich in gold deposits, the reality is, at best, uncertain. The Niha word for gold is derived from Sanskrit and this suggests that the metal was first used between the 7th–12th century; however, the term for a fine in gold for misdemeanours, bulawa, is derived from an ancient Austronesian root and suggests familiarity of some antiquity. The Niha believe that gold was brought to Nias by a deer that left the island for the caves of gold (togi-gana’a) over the seas. This legend recalls that of Malay folklore in which the spirit of gold inhabits a deer. The late 10th-century Arab geography Aja’ib al-Hind reported the urgency of Niha desire for copper or brass. Shell bracelets and copper alloy ornaments, such as spiral armlets and ear pendants, probably represent an earlier and original jewellery tradition. While the intense preoccupation with gold and gold jewellery in Nias may be attributed to social competition and rivalry between chieftains, Wolfgang Marschall (2007) has argued that it arose out of a confluence of historical circumstances. Increasing overpopulation of the small island led tribal elites to enslave a growing proportion of the population for minor legal infractions. Slaves were then exchanged for gold, guns and coins with Aceh, the VOC (Dutch East India Company) and other slave traders of various nationalities. The trade probably accelerated in the 17th century, and since the Dutch colonial regime did not abolish the slave trade in Indonesia until about 1860, the nobility of Nias had ample time to develop an ideology of extreme class distinction, in which gold played a more crucial role than in other Indonesian societies. AR 391 p391

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Necklaces of Heavy Silver Wire (nifulufulu, nifatalitali) and a Torque (kalabubu) South Nias, 19th century Silver, brass, coconut shell, necklaces: D 17.5–20.8 cm, torque: D 26.2 cm The kalabubu in the centre is a warrior’s ornament, constructed from coconut shell discs fitted around an internal brass frame and representing the great golden snake of Nias mythology. The kalabubu is now widely worn by men. In the past, it was restricted to those who had demonstrated prowess in warfare and headhunting. Brass terminals are typical of southern Nias. In northern and central Nias, they were overlaid with gold. These rugged silver necklaces tarnished by age are unusual on an island obsessed with gold.

428 p428

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C7 D/O: 10.11.11 Co: CMPT)

11/11/2011 5:30 PM


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Nias

429 p429

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Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago

Small Boys’ Tiger Claw Genital Ornament (boh gre gre) on a Chain with Bells Aceh, 19th century or earlier Gold, tiger claw pendant: W 3.4 cm, chain: L 40.2 cm

Children’s Tiger Claw Pendant (goeki rimoeng) (top-centre) Aceh, 19th century or earlier Gold, W 6.9 cm The topmost finely worked pendant was worn around the neck on a cord or chain. The outward turning tiger claw grants protection and bestows courage. The chain below features a pair of jingling tiger claw ornaments and would have been worn around the hips by little boys who wore no other clothing; they were regarded as companions for their genitals. Seashell-shaped bells were attached to children’s bracelets as well as waist chains. 454 p454

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Job no: 81694C1&C2 Title: Gold Jewellery Client: EDM Scn: #175 Size: 254(w)300(h)mm Co: MPT Dept: DTP D/O: 29.08.11 (Job no: 81694C7 D/O: 10.11.11 Co: CMPT)

10/11/2011 8:51 PM


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Aceh

Child’s Amulet Container and Necklace (ajeumat, bieng meuih) Aceh, 18th–19th century Gold, silver, amulet container: H 3.3 cm, necklace discs: D 2.3 cm The form of this beautifully crafted amulet container is said to resemble a crab (bieng). The necklace is embellished with melon beads. The attached discs (boh djeuramani) of openwork filigree and granulation represent fruit. These and similar discs resembling coins were often attached to children’s bracelets.

455 p455

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This richly illustrated volume stands as a testament to the extraordinary and ancient legacy of the gold jewellery manufactured and worn by the diverse peoples of the outer islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Divided into 10 geographic regions, each section features large, beautiful photos of a broad array of iconic body adornments with succinct expert introductions and highly informative captions discussing history, use and manufacture. The collection includes ancient ritual pieces believed to have magical powers, as well as courtly pieces designed to project power and authority. Beginning with Southeast Maluku, near the border of the PaciďŹ c Ocean, and travelling west through the Lesser Sundas, Sulawesi, Sumatra and, ďŹ nally, Nias, this volume is a golden journey through insular Asia.

US$110.00

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Gold Jewellery Of The Indonesian Archipelago  

Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago features more than 700 unpublished masterpieces from the tribal, ethnic and courtly gold body o...

Gold Jewellery Of The Indonesian Archipelago  

Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago features more than 700 unpublished masterpieces from the tribal, ethnic and courtly gold body o...

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