Headdress

This headdress is part of an ensemble worn by a priestess in the South Nias village of Bawomataluo. The plant-like forms in the decoration hint at the use of organic materials such as leaves and wood in ornaments before gold was used. Gold was not available on Nias island, but was obtained through trading of human slaves with the Malay maritime communities on Sumatran coast and in the 19th century, with the Dutch. Gold jewellery was an indication of rank, hence the prerogative of the priestess to wear an elaborate ensemble of jewellery.

Date/Period
19th century
Region
South Nias
Dimension
refer to parts
Accession No.
2002-00684
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edmond Chin
Category
Gold