Ceremonial spoon

Southeast Asian Collection

Accession Nr.: 54.140.1
Type: bone objects; religious or cult object; object for daily use
Date of production:
late 19th – early 20th century
Place of production:
Materials/Techniques: horn, carved
Dimensions: length: 14. 5 cm
This meticulously carved ceremonial spoon (nura dikun) is thought to have been used by East Timorese communities in funeral ceremonies. Its characteristic motifs include the backward-facing bird, three-dimensional or relief carvings of human figures and geometric patterns. Although originally ceremonial objects, by the 19th century these spectacular, organic objects had found their way into European museums and are still being made into high-quality replicas today.