Crescent shaped headhunter frontal

The crescent form appears in the material cultures of Indonesian communities as far-flung as the Minangkabau in West Sumatra, and the Atoni and Tetum peoples of Timor Island to the east. To the Minangkabau, this form is representative of the bull’s horn, emblematic of their identity. To the island cultures of Nusa Tenggara, the crescent moon or boat is an important symbol. The crescent frontals worn by the warriors of Timor form part of the regalia for a successful headhunter, who has demonstrated his masculinity and honour by decapitating a victim.

Artist Name
Timor People
Late 19th-early 20th centuries
Timor Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Eastern Indonesian Archipelago
Object size: 6.0 x 32.5 x 1.5 cm
Accession No.
Gold and silver
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edmond Chin