jewellery and ornaments

In all cultures, man has practiced the art of jewellery, thereby combining appearance and ceremony.

The attention given to the preparation of objects, the taste for precious materials and the refinement of the motifs bear witness to a fascination with appearances as an indicator of a specific status and a certain opulence.

Generally, this jewellery is emblematic of a form of social authority. But it can also play a role as a protector against adversity depending on the materials used in its making and the accompanying symbols. It is most often a bearer of vital energy.


  • War Charm

  • Woman's Headdress

  • Chieftain's Helmet

  • Male Ear Ornament

  • Pendant

  • Forehead Ornament

  • Men's Chignon Comb

  • Pendant

  • Element of Woman's Headdress: Part That Covers

  • Pendant Worn On the Back

  • Face Veil

  • Anthropomorphic Appliqué Jewelry

  • Necklace

  • Pendant

  • Bird Necklace

  • Hairpin

  • Frontal Headdress (known as "hat of the clan")

  • Large Dance Headdress

  • Feather Headdress

  • Male Figurine

  • Bark Apron

Forehead Ornament

Forehead Ornament

Forehead Ornament, lado, Indonesia, Small Island of the Sonde, Flores Island, Nage Population, 20th century, gold 50 x 26,5 cm, Don Monique and Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, 70.2001.27.709

The Nage live in the middle of Flores Island, among their neighbors, the Lio, the Keo, the Ngada and the Riung. A symbol of prosperity, this ornament required specific ritualistic sacrifices. It was handed down from father to son and was part of the family treasures. Men of high rank, chiefs or warriors, wore them on a scarf on their foreheads when new buildings or forked ceremonial posts, peo, were erected, and buffalo sacrifices were organized at the time of the ceremony pa sese. There is a connection between the frontal ornament and the post lado peo. According to some of the village narratives, seven nobles who were wearing lado gold ornaments had to go into the forest to choose the tree that would become the post peo. One of the seven men straddled the forked trunk during the trip from the forest back to the village, while another balanced himself on a transversal plank. The base of the crown evokes the form a of a ship, but also that of buffalo horns. On Flores Island, a buffalo ensured its owner's prestige. The pouring of its blood on top of the village altar was meant to honor one's ancestors. This crown is the gold version of an older model made of feathers and shells. The Dutch, during the time of colonization, had imported gold coins so they could seat their empire in eastern Indonesia.