East Sumbanese people
east Sumba, Indonesia
[hai kara jangga]
late 19th-early 20th century
16.5 (h) x 16.0 (w) x 6.0 (d) cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
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.