Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Comb with Face -Tanimbar?

Made from horn. The face on the comb also sports a set of buffalo horns, a typical Sumba motif.

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Comment by Edith D on October 8, 2017 at 14:25

And another example with same iconography....

Comment by Edith D on October 7, 2017 at 16:05

Here is something I have been considering.  The headdress the lady below wears is indeed similar to those found in Sumba.  However, the carving on this comb is more similar to that seen on pieces from the Tanimbar Islands.  So, is this comb from Tanimbar or Sumba?  Below is a photo of a tavu sculpture from Tanimbar Islands....

A tavu is an architectural sculpture that holds up a Tanimbar house.  It is meant to represent an ancestor and is thought to embody the ancestor's spirit.  According to De Jonge & van Dijk (Forgotten Islands of Indonesia) "Behind the tavu was the sleeping place of the daughters of the house; their fertility was guarded by the ancestors who could reside on the tavu."   It is interesting to note that when worn, the person wearing the comb will actually appear to be behind the ancestor (thus protecting the person's fertiity????)

Comment by Edith D on April 26, 2017 at 13:52

The lady in the picture is from Sumba, and wears a headdress similar to the face on the comb.

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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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