A Gorgeous Pair of Dayak Hornbill Earrings
Hornbill ear ornaments are very rare, probably due to their fragility. This pair is the most beautiful I have ever seen. The golden patina is consistent with significant age and use. Such ear ornaments would have been worn in a man's extended earlobe either singly or in pairs. The present example is carved from two single pieces of hornbill casque or beak. Each ear ornament takes the shape of a coil decorated on both sides with tendril-like aso motifs. The aso is a mythical underworld hybrid dragon-dog female fertility figure. The dragon imagery in Dayak art may be derived in part from dragons or other mythical creatures portrayed in Chinese art since ancient times [see second photo).
The hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) is a large forest bird known for its enormous orange-red beak and casque and dark blue feathers. It was regarded with enormous symbolic importance among the Dayaks who traditionally viewed the hornbill as a representation of the upper-world god. The wearing of hornbill feathers and carved casques during ceremonies conveyed the high status, power and prestige of the wearer (mostly men).
|a. Origin||Iban Dayak, Borneo, Indonesia|
|b. Estimated Age||Early 20th century|
|c. Craft (Embroidery etc)||Hornbill casque.|
|d. Size (mention cm/inches)||4.3 cm|
|e. Condition Report||Excellent condition with no loss.|
|f. Damage & Shortcomings||Nil.|
|g. Item Location (Country)||Singapore|
|Seller Name||Wai Mun Fong|
|Seller's Email IDfirstname.lastname@example.org|