Combs, Jewellery, Body Ornaments

In this category I have listed some combs, body ornamentation and jewellery that the Atoni people of Timor still make and use today as well as a few older pieces that I have managed to acquire. Over the centuries the Timorese have created a large range of combs both for practical use as well as ritual and adornment. They use a variety of mediums from wood to bamboo to buffalo horn which is often overlayed with silver.
Delicately carved Hair Pins created from red cedarwood or kayu merah using the simplest of tools. Atoni men and women have used a huge variety of hair pins to keep in place their hair which is twisted then rolled at the nape of the neck. With fewer traditional villages these days it is mostly the women who still wear their hair long.
Most Timorese wear their hair in a bun and it is said that men usually choose to cut their hair if they are away from the village on extended business. As in many traditions hair is said to have deep magical significance in the Animist culture that is still very much alive beneath the Christian overlay in Timor.
In some areas the craft of making such items is sadly dying away but with sustained marketing and encouragement I trust that it will not be lost as a source of both beauty and pride.
Copyright Julie Emery 22/02/2022©