Indonesia, Lampung, Sumatra
Head of a hornbill from a cereminal chariot 19th century
114.0 x 24.0 x 45.0 cm
Collection of the National Gallery of Australia
The use of ceremonial vehicles was an important part of aristocratic rites of passage, including circumcision and wedding festivities, in the Islamic cultures of Southeast Asia.
Palanquin often took the form of giant flying creatures, including real or mythical birds such as the garuda and sarimanok. This sculpture of the mighty hornbill was mounted on the front of a bridal carriage in southern Sumatra.