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Brass Water Container (Kendi)

Minangkabau People, Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

height: 32 cm

Available - Enquire


UK art market

This spectacular example of Minangkabau/Malay brassware is a water container (kendi) meant to hold water fro drinking and hand-washing. It is cast using the lost wax process features repeated stylised bamboo shoots (pucuk rebung) filled with floral motifs separated by raised triangular plaques and various other borders of flowers and geometric designs.

Pucuk rebung motifs are an identifying characteristic of Minangkabau and Malay brassware. They are also commonly used in Malay textile design and woodwork.

Comparable examples are in the collections of the National Museum of Singapore and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.

Water containers and kendis with similar motifs appear in Singh (1985, p. 24) and Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (2005, p. 203).


Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, The Message and the Monsoon: Islamic Art of Southeast Asia, IAMM Publications, 2005.

Singh, B., Malay Brassware, National Museum of Singapore, 1985.

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