Michael Backman Ltd - Home  

Silver-Gilt Mamuli Pendant
East Sumba, Indonesia
circa 19th century

height: 6.8cm, width: 5.6cm, weight: 13.02g

This example of a mamuli pendant from East Sumba in Eastern Indonesia is of gilded or gold-plated silver. It has two hollow, gilded spheres applied to the
lower section.

Such pendants tended to be made either from gold of gilded silver. (See Meulenbeld (1988, p. 188) for a silver-gilt
mamuli.)

The pendant is hollow but essentially the same on both sides. It is believed that such pendants evoke the imagery of the female genitalia. More elaborate
examples were not worn but used for ritual purposes only. The more simpler examples such as the example here were worn suspended from the neck or ears
and were worn at important festivities.

The example here is in a fine, wearable condition.

References:
Benitez-Johannot, P. (ed.), Paths of Origins: The Austronesian Heritage in the Collections of the National Museum of the Philippines, the Museum Nasional
Indonesia and the Netherlands Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde
, ArtPostAsia, 2007.
Meulenbeld, B.C.,
et al, Budaya Indonesia: Arts and Crafts in Indonesia, Tropenmuseum, 1988.
Richter, A.,
The Jewelry of Southeast Asia, Thames & Hudson, 2000.
Richter, A., & B. Carpenter,
Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago, Editions Didier Millet, 2012.
Rodgers, S.,
Power and Gold: Jewelry from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, The Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva, 3rd ed. 1995.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4190

This Item is available - Ask about this item

Click here to see more items of jewellery and adornment.