Jewelry was a very important part of Karo Batak culture, indicating social status, wealth, clan identity and religious meanings.
These extremely heavy ear ornaments known as padung-padung are made of a single thick solid brass wire. They are perhaps the most known of Batak jewelry, though not as simple in form as other Batak jewelry. The double spiral figures is a common motif in many tribal arts of Asia, though mostly in upside down direction and signifying a pair of ram’s horn.
The padung-padung earrings are worn by married women. One is usually suspended while the other is attached to a headband and pointing in the opposite direction. This represents the ups and downs associated with marriage. Both are supported by a headband, hat or a folded songket because of their weight.
Circa: 20th Century
Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
Inventory number: JL3656