Bullet Holder (Paru-Paru or Baba Ni Onggang)

19th century

Indo-Pacific Art

On view, 3rd floor, Indo-Pacific Art

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.


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


7 7/8 × 1 15/16 × 2 3/4 in. (20 × 5 × 7 cm)
base: 2 1/2 × 2 1/8 × 6 7/8 in. (6.3 × 5.4 × 17.5 cm)

Credit Line

Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971

Loan number



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 records is ongoing.



Ex-collection: R. Burawoy, Paris
  • A. Plowright, "La Collection Robert Burawoy Primitifs," Primitifs: Art Tribal, Art Moderne (July–August 1991): 54.
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