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Loan Object
Photo by Johan Vipper
Photo credit: Johan Vipper

Bullet Holder (Paru-Paru or Baba Ni Onggang)

19th century

Wood, buffalo horn, and lead (left); and buffalo horn (right)

20 × 5 × 7 cm (7 7/8 × 1 15/16 × 2 3/4 in.)
base: 6.3 × 5.4 × 17.5 cm (2 1/2 × 2 1/8 × 6 7/8 in.)
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971

The Batak of northern Sumatra comprise six groups: the Toba, Mandaling, Angkola, Pakpak/Dairi, Simalingun, and Karo. All share a common origin myth and ancestor (Si Raja Batak), have similar kinship and marriage customs, employ a common language and script, and emphasize certain ritual practices. Until the mid-twentieth century, political power was in the hands of chiefs and the council of elders, while spiritual power resided with the priest (datu), who had great influence on Batak life.

Made in Sumatra, Indonesia
On view
Karo Batak or Toba Batak
19th century
Containers - Other

Ex-collection: R. Burawoy, Paris


A. Plowright, “La Collection Robert Burawoy Primitifs,” Primitifs: Art Tribal, Art Moderne (July–August 1991): 54.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.