| Woman's ritual belt

Engganese people
Enggano, Bengkulu, Indonesia

Woman's ritual belt mid 19th century or earlier
plant fibre, rattan, glass beads
overall 33.5 (h) x 95.0 (w) cm
National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden


Relatively little is known about the beaded objects of the Enggano people who inhabit islands off the west coast of Sumatra. This rare ceremonial belt formed part of the ritual finery worn by women during harvest feasts. Reportedly, the weight of the heavily beaded belts worn around the hips caused some Enggano women to faint during the rites. The number of red beads that hang from the front of the belts is said to represent the number of heads taken by the men of the community as a prelude to the feast.

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