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Shields or bucklers such as this example were cast by the matrilineal Minangkabau people of west Sumatra for export to the Aceh sultanate in northern Sumatra. The Acehnese used these bucklers for a type of sword dance that no longer is performed.
This buckler has been cast with seven high-relief, plain hemispherical bosses surrounded by triangular bamboo shoot motifs (pucuk rebung) arranged as Islamic-inspired, six-pointed stars and as shapes that are likely to be highly stylised dragons. The reverse has been cast with four small lugs through which a fibre cord hand-strap has been threaded.
The buckler has a fine chocolate-brown patina. A small casting flaw to the edge has been corrected at the time of manufacture (not visible from the front of the shield) but otherwise the shield is in excellent condition
Similar Malay bucklers are illustrated in Singh (1985, p. 41).
Singh, B., Malay Brassware: A Guide to the Collections, National Museum of Singapore, 1985.