Gold Silver & Brass
Jewellery of the Batak in Sumatra Indonesia
written by Achim Sibeth
5 Continents Editions | ISBN 9788874396269
Hardback – 192 pages
Member’s price: $63.90
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Among the hundreds of ethnic groups living in Indonesia, the Batak are one of the most famous. Their traditional architecture, sculpture, textiles and other arts have been widely documented, but this is the first publication to examine their rich jewelry traditions. Batak jewelry is characterised by a wide variety of materials and forms and has many functions: it can be a status symbol, a badge of rank, an attribute of membership into a certain age group, an amulet and talisman, or simply an ornament. Jewelry was worn by men and women, and even babies and small children were adorned with gold, silver, brass, bronze, or the gold and copper alloy known as suasa. The jewelry varied depending on the sex and age of its wearer. Today, the Batak wear traditional jewelry only for celebrations like weddings, and these stunnign works are rapidly disappearing, being either melted down or sold. The nearly 300 precious works shown here in gorgeous new photographs are rare artifacts of a once-flourishing jewelry tradition.