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.
19th century-20th century
4.1 x 4.8 x 0.5 cm
Christopher Worrall Wilson Bequest 2010
Shown in 1 exhibition
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
Referenced in 1 publication
Ancestral art of the Indonesian archipelago, Sydney, 2017, 71 (colour illus.).