This crown symbolizes the fertility and longevity of a clan. The ancestor face represents esteem for the clan founder; the roosters, male status; and the Tree of Life, fertility and ancestral lineage. The Moluccas Islands are located in eastern Indonesia. The islands' many cultures used gold objects as signs of social status, and to celebrate new family alliances at marriages. Gold adornments, embodying the spirits of ancestors, help guarantee the survival of family lineages. This elegant crown was made to be worn by a female member of local royalty on important ritual occasions. Gold dangles attached with wire flash upon movement. The roosters represent male elements, and their feathers rise toward the face of an ancestor crowned with the Tree of Life, a symbol of community continuity.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Moluccas peoples
16th–17th century
Hammered and repoussé gold
13 1/4 × 14 1/2 × 3/4 in. (33.7 × 36.8 × 1.9 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by the Brown Foundation Accessions Endowment Fund

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
Jewelry & Adornment

[Frank Wiggers, Insulinde Indonesian Arts, Forest Knolls, California, before 2006]; purchased by MFAH, 2006.