Toba Batak Ear Ornaments, Sumatra
Tribal Bod Mod

Toba Batak Ear Ornaments, Sumatra

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Item details

Material

silver

A rare pair of men's ear ornaments from the Lake Toba region of Sumatra, inhabited by the Batak People. Indeterminate white metal. Men wore the asymmetrical 'sitepal' in the right lobe. The symmetrical 'duri-duri' was worn in the left. These ear ornaments may be local versions of the spiky pendants from Oc Eo and Java, and the knobbed Dvaravati ear ornaments from Thailand, Maluku and the Philippines, all of which may represent stylized 'nagas' It is also possible that, like similar ear ornaments in Indonesia and the Philippines, the form is based on female genitalia. Freely adapted from Anne Richter's The Jewelry of South East Asia (2000). The sitepal measures about 2 x 1 inches, and the duri duri measures about 1 /2 x 1 3/4 inches.