A fine Java Indonesian traditional wedding festival “santiang” headdress
CONDITION: This headdress has been worn and loved by previous Indonesian brides so the loss of some rhinestones or small repairs are to be expected. Generally good vintage condition with expected wear
SIZE: 4½ ins h x 13 ins w (11 x 33 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1970s
This wonderful ornament is called a Suntiang which is an elaborate crown shaped headdress worn by Minangkabu women in Sumatra for festive occasions. Traditionally it has the shape of a radiant fan and is made out of golden coloured metal.
The headdress is based upon a flexible band of gilded metal, surmounted by rows of goldtone and red metal flowers and leaves. The outer border comprises a layer of upstanding repousee motifs surmounted by metal leaves. leaves stand up behind the row of flowers. The centres of the flowers are set with small clear rhinestones and decorative beads. The larger flowers are set upon spiral springs which cause them to tremble when the wearer moves, and are soldered to the flexible headband.
The photographs show the effect on the mannequin. A selection of traditional Indonesian headdresses of similar form is shown in the collage photo.
This wonderful headdress would be ideal for pageants and fancy dress.
Large and elaborate headdresses are still part of the traditional dress worn on festive and ceremonial occasions such as weddings in Borneo, Sarawak, Sumatra, Java and other western islands of Indonesia. Elaborate metal headings gilded, embossed and engraved are attached to combs and worn tiara like on the front or top of the head. These are frequently accompanied by many quivering metallic pins set with rhinestones and adding sparkle. A piece worn by a bride for a wedding is called Suntiang Gadang, while the one worn by traditional dancers is called pasumandan.
Such hair combs and headdresses are still part of the wedding regalia for bridal couples. In the past they were passed down through families as treasured heirlooms. However today complete outfits of wedding regalia for both bride and groom are now usually rented from a specialist company who also does the bridal make up and hairdressing for the great day.
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Indonesian traditional wedding headdress crown Java headpiece