Category Archives: Sulawesi

Sulawesi Indonesia Art: Carved Bird Comb

This prestigious ceremonial buffalo-horn comb is being listed on ebay for $485 or best offer. It’s spirit touched me. In African combs, birds are fertility symbols. Here we have a similar theme of two birds facing each other.

Sulawesi is one of the Greater Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Along with Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the Moluku Islands, they form the Malay archipelago. Human remains have been found on Sulawesi as far back as 30,000 BC. In the 13th Century, trade routes opened, which gave the native population access to iron and altered the culture. Portuguese sailors discovered it in 1525. Here is a picture from the 1870s, showing the “histoire danseuses padjog” of Sulawesi with stunning costume and hair ornamentation.


For further scholarly research, please examine

The Keiko Kusakabe Collection: Textiles from Sulawesi in Indonesia: Geneaology of Sacred Cloths

Calling Back the Spirit: Music, Dance, and Cultural Politics in Lowland South Sulawesi