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Pendant in a double-axe form (taka)

19th century-20th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Gold Taka
    Place where the work was made
    Central Flores Flores Indonesia
    Cultural origin
    19th century-20th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    gold alloy
    4.1 x 4.8 x 0.5 cm
    Bequest of Christopher Worrall Wilson 2010
    Lower Asian gallery
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    A symbol of high rank and wealth, gold jewellery on Flores also has deep connections with the ancestors and is used for the expression of cosmological order. Among the Ngada people of central Flores, ornaments like this pendant property of ancestors and an important part of a clan’s heirloom treasure. Imbued with sacred properties, ‘taka’ were removed from their stores and exposed to sunlight only after being anointed with the blood of an animal sacrifice and the appropriate permissions had been sought from the ancestors. ‘Taka’ were worn by men and women, suspended at the neck and forehead from bands and chains. They also appeared as prestige items in bride wealth exchanges and traditional (‘adat’) rituals.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

    • Elemental, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jul 2022–2024

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

  • Provenance

    Nomadic Rug Traders, pre 2004, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased in Indonesia.

    Mariann Ford, 2004-Dec 2010, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased from Nomadic Rug Traders (art dealership). Donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010.