Lampung, south Sumatra, Indonesia
Nobleman's throne of honour
165.0 (h) x 173.0 (w) x 67.0 (d) cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Thrones of honour [pepadon] are central to the great feasts of merit held in Lampung, south Sumatra, to celebrate wealth and rank. Prominent nobles sponsor elaborate and expensive feasts at which many buffalo are sacrificed in the quest for titles, higher status and indicators of power such as the right to use the pepadon.
For centuries, thrones with ornate backs [sesako] have been carved from wood. Sesako display imagery from both the upper and lower realms, with snakes and serpents appearing with bird and tree motifs. The fanged demonic mask-like face at the centre of this throne is a recurring protective image in Southeast Asia.