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Acehnese Bride’s Silver & Suasa Gold Hair Ornament (Leleyang Cemera)

Gayo-Alas People, central Aceh, North Sumatra, Indonesia
19th-early 20th century

height: 15cm, width: 12cm, weight: 89g



private collection, France

This triangular hair ornament is made of silver and suasa – a gold-copper alloy much favoured in Southeast Asia for embellishing jewellery. Called a leleyang cemera, it was worn in the hair, on the back of the head, by Gayo-Alas women of Islamic central Aceh, in the northern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. Probably such an ornament was worn by brides.

It comprises filigree work, applique work, and has suspended hollow suasa and silver tubes, and multiple diamond-shape dangles cut from flat sheet silver.

The top of the ornament has a round silver loop to allow it to be attached to the hair.

Related examples are illustrated in Richter (2000, p. 193), Leigh (1989, p. 127) and Carpenter (2011, p. 61).

The example here is in fine condition. It is stable, and today, could be worn as a pendant from a necklace.


Carpenter, B., Ethnic Jewellery from Indonesia: Continuity and Evolution, Editions Didier Millet, 2011.

Leigh, B., Hands of Time: The Crafts of Aceh, Penerbit Djambatan, 1989.

Richter, A., The Jewelry of Southeast Asia, Thames & Hudson, 2000.

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