Heirloom chest

This ‘hombung’ (‘heirloom chest’) comes from the Batak people in north Sumatra. It was used to store family heirlooms such as jewellery, weapons and textiles. Clan chiefs each owned a hombung which, for security reasons, also doubled as his bed and was a prized possession. The carvings on the front ends depict the heads of the ‘singa’ (a mythical Batak creature). Nails are not used in the construction of hombung, which is held together using interlocking planks and peg hinges for the lid.

Indigenous Name
hombung
Date/Period
19th century
Region
North Sumatra
Accession No.
1995-02422
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andy Ng
Category
Woodcarving

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