| Woman's comb [hai kara jangga]

East Sumbanese people
east Sumba, Indonesia

Woman's comb [hai kara jangga] late 19th-early 20th century
turtle shell
16.5 (h) x 16.0 (w) x 6.0 (d) cm
Purchased 2005
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2005.1161


The combs of Sumba are among the most intricately carved in Indonesia. Worn on the front of the head, tortoise-shell combs are presented to adolescent girls by their fathers and may also be worn by adult women of the noble class. The animal motifs they display are associated with fertility, power and protection.

Subscribe to newsletter

You can also follow developments on twitter or facebook