This silver linglingo pendant is from the Bontoc or Kalinga peoples of northern Luzon island in the Philippines. Typically, these pendants are of cast brass. Silver examples are relatively rare.
The pendant is of cast silver using the lost wax method. It might have been worn on a necklace by either a man or a woman. Sometimes, individual linglingo were worn as earrings.
Linglingo is the generic Cordillera term for a pendant and possibly earrings that have a basic closed ‘C’ form and which appear to be based on the female reproductive organs (Afable et al, 2013, p. 292).
The form is probably archaic and so such a reference might have been lost, with the form becoming more abstract. However, it is likely that such ornaments continued to have fertility or at least talismanic associations.
The evocative abstract form of the linglingo makes them small items of personal sculpture. The Musee du Quai Branly in Paris chose to have a linglingo as its cover illustration for the catalogue that accompanied its landmark exhibition on the Philippines in 2013.
The example here has significant wear, a fine patina, and obvious age.
Afable, P., et al, Philippines: an Archipelago of Exchange, ACTES SUD/ Musee du Quai Branly, 2013.
Moltzau Anderson, E., In the Shape of Tradition: Indigenous Art of the Northern Philippines, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2010.
Richter, A., The Jewelry of Southeast Asia, Thames & Hudson, 2000.
Rodgers, S., Power and Gold: Jewelry from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, The Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva, 3rd ed. 1995.