Gallery - Miscellaneous

Pectoral disc

Timor Island
Copper alloy
Ø 16 cm
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Inv. T.14.005

This hand beaten pectoral disc is decorated with an elaborated boss representing - depending on the interpretations - the cosmic mountain equivalent to the Three of Life or the breast and therefore fecundity. It was typically worn on a string threaded through the small hole. The pectoral discs were an important status symbol and had the function of recognize one's wealth and value within the community, as well as marking social ties, such as marriage and political alliances. The pectoral discs were worn on ceremonial occasions, either singly or in multiples.

Formally similar pectoral discs to this are shown decorating the bodies of Timorese People in Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago (p. 91) and in Ethnic Jewellery from Indonesia (p. 37). In the latter it is worn by a warrior from Belu region photographed in the Forties.

The central boss of this pectoral disc is made with a complex technique of soldering the protruding boss to the forged disc. Interestingly, the small circular hole intended for the string has been decorated all around to depict the sun or the morning star.

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