Earrings “hisang”

The earrings above are worn by men and women and are cast from solid brass. They serve as weight and often enlarge the ear holes up to the shoulders.

For some Dayak, traditionally the most beautiful woman in the village was considered to be the one with the longest earlobes. Even today you can see older women with tattoos and heavy earrings made of silver or brass, which pull the earlobes up to the shoulders. They symbolize strength and give high prestige.

The headdress of the humanlike in the middle was passed through the hole in the earlobe. The human figure is symbolizing the connection to the ancestors. The earrings below are in the form of a circle closed with aso mouth. The mythical creature decorating many Kenya-Kayan earrings and other art objects.

Brass earrings and special pearls are kept as a valuable “treasure” in the house of the Dayak. In general, metalwork is traded very high priced among the inland dayakers. The only metal objects made of brass that are produced locally are earrings.

Object Earrings “hisang“
Culture Kenyah/Kayan Dayak, Borneo
Time 20th century
Dimensions Balls: height 7,2 cm,  one earring 212 g
Material Solid cast brass
Supplementing Literature Back to room view