Enquiry about object: 9414

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    Silver Yao Celestial Headdress & Matched Pin

    Kim Mun Lantien Sha of the Dao/Yao People, Laos/Northern Thailand/Southern China
    early 20th century

    diameter of disc: 16.4cm, length of hair pin: 22.1cm, overall weight: 234g

    Available - Enquire


    French art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This ornament comprising a central disc decorated with a ten-ray star-bust motif surrounded by dozens of silver discs arrayed in two rows, with a backing of woven black fibre, is a celestial headdress worn by certain post-pubescent women belonging to ‘hill tribe’ groups in the northern Thai-Yunnan (Golden Triangle) area.

    It is rare because it retains a matched silver hair pin, used to secure the headdress to the hair. The pin is decorated with applied silver wire work and spangles.

    Such headdresses were worn like crowns for a variety of ceremonies including marriages and were used to cover-up the long, coiled hair of the wearer.

    Related examples are illustrated in van Cutsem (2005, p. 166; 2010, p. 133), Daalder (2009, p. 220), and Pourret (2002, p. 164).

    The example here is in excellent condition and has a fine patina.

    The headdress and pin come with an attractive, custom-made black display stand.


    van Cutsem, A., A World of Head Ornaments: Africa, Asia Oceania, America, Skira, 2005.

    van Cutsem, A., & M. Magliani, Powerful Headdresses: Africa-Asia: The Ira Brind Collection, 5 Continents, 2010.

    Daalder, T., Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment: Australia, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Ethnic Art Press/Macmillan, 2009.

    Lewis, P. & E., Peoples of the Golden Triangle: Six Tribes in Thailand, Thames & Hudson, 1984.

    Pourret, J.G., The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, Thames & Hudson, 2002.

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