Necklace

This is a necklace (‘layang-layang’) of silver and applied filigree from the Batak perople of north Sumatra. It comprises of a large crescent-shaped pendant, possibly representing the ancestral house, with spangles called ‘pilo-pilo’ that are supposed to bring good luck. The chain also has four smaller, but identical crescent-shaped pendant attached to the chain. This can also be a bridegroom’s necklace (‘bura laying-layang’). Also, as these ancestral house motifs symbolise the traditional clan house and its inhabitants, such as the ancestral dead and their living descendents, such necklaces were also employed by shamans to call back souls of the sick.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th century
Region
North Sumatra
Dimension
Object size: L39.9cm x W10.8cm
Accession No.
2002-00565
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edmond Chin
Category
Silver