Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Tebe Earrings from Flores

A set of silver 'tebe' earrings from the island of Flores, Indonesia.

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Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on Monday

Very likely Edith.

Most of earrings in the region used to follow the omega shape a very old pattern as you may know.

Only in Eastern Nusa Tenggara and especially Flores can we find these constructions!

Portuguese had a strong impact in this part of the country and this theory can find enough historical ground on which to back it

Comment by Edith D on Monday

Thanks Alaa eeddine!  As you probably know, supposedly this earring form was influenced by Portuguese jewelry.  I decided to test this theory, so I googled photos of traditional jewelry from Portugal.   Here is a photo I found.  What do you think?

Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on Sunday

I was under the impression after visiting many times and a bit of research that the core material of all the malay adornments (i mean the ethnicity not the nationality) is GOLD. Gold was definetely the most preferred material for jewelry making in all over the archipelago because of ancient and old belief system. This is very much the case and visible in eastern Nusa tenggara and south malukku, the most conservative islands of these old beliefs in all of the archipelago.

Gold slowlly lost its place due to a variety of reasons, economic but also due to change of beliefs systems but one can notice that there is a constant will to keep the new material used shiny and yellow coloured. Gilt silver for the richer places but also lots of low grade silver and bronze or brass..... they need to have this gold couloured surface to lure and remind of gold

Your pair of earrings is just fabulous, i am happy you could find some interesting pieces and most importantly that you enjoyed the rainy season in jakarta which is very much a challenge but after which everything is cool and great in the archipelago :-)

Comment by Edith D on April 11, 2017 at 10:20

I was nevertheless very taken with the sinuous design.  The border looks like fishing hooks!

Comment by Edith D on April 11, 2017 at 10:19

These are a matching pair.  The workmanship on these is very good, but I must admit that the silver is low grade.  My impression of Indonesian jewelry is that much of the silver is heavily alloyed with other metals, even on the better pieces.

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Created by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 10, 2017 at 4:03pm. Last updated by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 17.

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