Beaded Wedding Basket with Lid

Object Name: 
Beaded Wedding Basket with Lid

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Object Name: 
Beaded Wedding Basket with Lid
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 14.8 cm, W: 35.5 cm, D: 35.5 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
Indonesia is a large archipelago situated between Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. The location and the diverse natural resources prompted cultural contact, along with influences from both India and China, but despite these interactions, many native cultures and traditions remain largely intact in Indonesia. The earliest glass beads in Indonesia came from Chinese and Indian traders. Glass beads are considered to be heirlooms in many Indonesian cultures, and they hold great importance for their owners. Europeans who wanted to control the Indonesian spice trade (the Portuguese were the first to reach the islands) began to import large numbers of glass seed beads into the region in the 16th century, and beadwork was incorporated into Indonesian arts and crafts. These goods were used in ritual and ceremonial events, along with traditional food, music, and costume, becoming part of the customs of various cultures. One event that often involved beadwork goods in Indonesia was the wedding. Baskets, such as those shown here, were filled with gifts, often of food or cloth, and were presented to the newly married couple. These baskets, which are covered with glass seed beads and shells, are beautiful receptacles for such gifts. They are of various sizes, and the imagery of the decorative motif, including a butterfly (97.6.2) and a sunburst (97.6.1), combines Western and Sumatran themes of protection, guidance, and remembrance. The largest basket (97.6.3) displays the tree of life, symbolizing rebirth, which is often found in Indonesian art. Today, these wedding baskets are no longer fashionable, and they are used infrequently.
Incredible Indonesian Art Work, Source
Primary Description: 
Beaded Wedding Basket with Lid. Translucent opaque multi-colored glass, shells, fabric; beadmaking, sewn.
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 62-63, no. 39; BIB# 134720
Treasures from the Corning Museum of Glass 2013 (2012-12) illustrated, p. 6; BIB# 133170
Wedding Baskets (family) (2011)BIB# 131708
The Technique of Beadwork (2003) illustrated, p. 15, # 4;
The Corning Museum of Glass, A Guide to the Collections (2001) (2001) illustrated, p. 102, back; BIB# 68214
The Corning Museum of Glass: A Decade of Glass Collecting 1990-1999 (2000) illustrated, pp. 78-79, #133; BIB# 65446
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1997 (1998) illustrated, p. 2, 10; BIB# AI95178
Recent Important Acquisitions, 40 (1998) illustrated, p. 161, #48; BIB# AI40492