Wonoboyo, Klaten region, central Java, Indonesia
Ceremonial dipper imitating a palm leaf bucket
early 10th century
6.6 (h) x 15.6 (w) x 5.7 (d) cm
National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta
Luxuriously crafted in gold, this water scoop takes the form of a utilitarian dipper of the type still made from lontar palm fronds in the eastern islands of the Indonesian archipelago. The vessel came to light in 1990 with the chance discovery near Mount Merapi in central Java of an extraordinary group of precious objects, now known as the Wonoboyo hoard. Its inclusion in the large cache of gold suggests that it was reserved for ceremonial use, perhaps in the afterlife.