Pair of double-spiral headdress ornaments (padung-padung)

Karo Batak people
Late 19th–early 20th century
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General Description

Distinctive double-spiral ornaments were worn as earrings or as part of a ceremonial headdress. Because of their great weight, solid examples such as these were usually wrapped with a cloth headdress. When the spirals are oriented in opposite directions, they are said to symbolize the sometimes-up, sometimes-down relationship between husband and wife during the course of their marriage.

Excerpt from

Anne R. Bromberg, Label text, 2013.