Ear ornament or pendant (mamuli)

DATE:
early 20th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Gold
CLASSIFICATION:
Jewelry
DIMENSIONS:
3 3/4 × 3 1/4 × 3/4 in. (9.53 × 8.26 × 1.91 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of the Pacific Islands
LOCATION:
Arts of the Pacific Islands - Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Sarah Dorsey Hudson
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art.
OBJECT NUMBER:
1991.370

General Description

In the mamuli, the simple cleft-diamond shape, which resembles the Greek letter omega, contrasts with clusters of tiny balls or lively figures such as the monkeys here. Formerly worn as an ear ornament, the mamuli is now most often used as a pendant. Depending on the type, mamuli were considered prestige items used for dancing and other rituals, sacred altar objects that aided priests in contacting the ancestral spirits, or sacred heirlooms that were rarely removed from their special storage containers. This mamuli was formerly in the collection of W. Tanagoendjo, the late raja of Pau.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, 2013.