VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Siwur
1918.1.2
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The words/name gayung batok kelapa or siwur in Javanese, (water dipper) reminds me of a tool that Javanese people use for Upacara Siraman (blessing ceremony). Upacara Siraman is a shower–blessing for the bride before the wedding day with water from seven different places mixed with seven different types of flowers. The siwur is a tool (water dipper) used to take the water from the gentong, a large earthenware bowl for water, which is made from a coconut shell that has a bamboo shaft for a handle. Until now, the siwur was made mostly in Java, since other provinces have different cultures and traditions and didn’t use siwur as Javanese people did. One place that still produces siwur in a traditional fashion is the Baduy village, West Java. Baduy people often use bamboo as the material because it’s easy to obtain in their area. The most special thing about siwur or other handicrafts made by Baduy people is that they have to make it by hand (handmade) using only simple tools and materials. Using simple tools and materials from their surroundings is a must because one of Baduy people’s rules is to protect their traditions from modernization.

History of the Object
One of the museum’s mission statements is to be receptive to and to collaborate with groups that represent objects in the collections. This applies to the interpretations and availability of the existing objects and in the collecting of new objects that highlight contemporary cultural meetings, conflicts and influences. In keeping with this, members of the local Indonesian community in Göteborg were asked to choose objects that they felt they could relate to and that carried a special personal inherent relevance to them.

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Type
Other 
Materials
wood, coconut 
Measurements
unknown 
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; North coast of Java 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; ca 1915 
Function
water dipper 
Acquisition
Collected in Tegal, in the north coast of Java, Indonesia before 1918 by the Danish anthropologist, Kaj Birket-Smith 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museum of World Culture, Sweden 
Museum
Museum of World Culture 
Credit line
 

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