Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia
late 19th century
length: 44 cm not including ties
This head dress, which comprises a red cotton ceremonial didem with gilded ornaments, would have been warn by local Malays but is based on a Chinese wedding headdress. Such head dresses were referred to as Ba Xian by the Straits Chinese community on the Malaysian peninsular, on account of the Ba Xian (eight immortals) who are often depicted on such headdresses. The one here shows Vishnu astride Garuda as its central ornament in place of the Chinese God of Longevity, as is common with the Sumatran version.Illustrated
This actual piece is illustrated in Richter, A., The Jewelry of Southeast Asia, Thames & Hudson, 2000, p. 204-5.
Inventory no.: 317