A Batak bulletholder
The Batak people, mostly represented in North Sumatra, Aceh and lake Toba, are known of their large variety of weapons. Warriors used swords (Piso Podang, Rudus or keris) accompanied by a shield (Peurise Awe). Some warriors carried rifles imported or taken from the Europeans.
The muskets and rifles needed to be reloaded after every single shot. To fasten the reloading proces, bullet holders were made. Mostly carved of horn. Curved in shape with a reservoir for bullets ending up in two beaks holding bullets in a single line.
Sumatra, Batak, 19th century.
Materials: Buffalo Horn (Bubalus arnee bubalis)
A finely carved ‘Paru-Paru’ bullet holder from the Batak people of Sumatra. These kind of bullet holders were used to speed up the reloading process. Many of them were simply carved out of horn and decorated with Batak carvings or depicting a human head.
The holder shown here has a fine lop sided shape and is fully engraved with a variety of motifs. The widest part is made to hold a number of stone or lead bullets. On the top two beaks come together creating tension to hold the bullets in place. The cover of the holder is revited with small horn pins. The piece is in as found condition and has an honest natural shiny patina which indicates good age.
Condition: Very good, some cracks in the horn due to age. Including professional display stand and three bullets.
Dimensions: 15.8 x 4.5cm
Copyright by Peter Andeweg – 2020
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