Silver Om’bulu Earrings


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Two Silver Earrings (Om’bulu)
Central Flores, Indonesia
19th century

heights: 4.6-4.8cm, combined weight: 24g

These two earrings  which are not quite a pair but which probably were treated as such are of cast silver alloy and are from the Lio people of central Flores in Eastern Indonesia.

Such earrings formed part of the teokinga – the pusaka jewellery and other valuables that a Lio bride brings with her to the marriage.

The forms are based on the archaic omega form which probably is linked to the female genitalia form and thus had links to fertility and fecundity. The applied granulation decoration seems to be inspired by seaweed and coral which is unsurprising given that Flores is an island surrounded by coral reefs.

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