Bracelet (komba lola')

Sa'dan Toraja peoples
19th century or earlier
more object details

General Description

This bracelet is ornamented with delicate rings of repoussé work around the rim and a complex array of small radiating columns projecting from the outer surface, some of which are set with garnets, rubies, and transparent red and blue glass beads. Some of these columns are linked by spirals of fine gold wire, surrounding small clusters of granulated gold bosses that seem to float between the stones. A filigree gold chain encircles the spikes on either side. This is a mark of the superior workmanship of this piece; in lesser examples, a colored thread is used in place of such a chain.

Its massive size suggests that this finely worked bracelet was made for display at rituals rather than to be worn. At such times, it would have been seen in association with gold-sheathed keris, or daggers. The bracelet was associated with high status and was a source of pride for the family or house that owns them.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, 2013.