Suntiang, a decadent golden headdress

fresh red roses replaces one layer of bungo gadang

Arranging Suntiang; fresh red roses replace one layer of bungo gadang and three kambang goyang being fitted on the bun

Suntiang is a majestic traditional headdress of the Minang tribe in west Sumatra. This magnificent crown is available in golden and silver colors and usually worn in wedding reception and other ceremonies such as independence day celebration. The Suntiang that is worn by a bride is called Suntiang Gadang and the one that is worn by traditional dancers are called pasumandan. Suntiang can be made of steel, aluminum and gold and therefore can weigh up to 3.5 to 5kg.

Suntiang is not a one piece crown, it is consisted of four types of dozens of head ornaments that are traditionally fitted a sprig after a sprig on a pandan bun on top of the hair. The lowest flower layer are called bungo sarunai. Three to five layers of bungo sarunai will make the base of the suntiang. The middle arrays is called bungo gadang and the top part is called Kambang Goyang. The ornaments that are hanging on the left and right side the cheek is called kote kote. Kote kote can be made of metals or fresh white jasmine. The height of suntiang is related to the amount of the ornament layers. In the past, normally the Suntiang gadang had 7 to 11 layers, but nowadays the amount of layers is kept to odd number, depending on the will and strength of the bearer. There are also suntiang that is already arranged and fixed together on something like a headband for practicality reason. The weight of the modern suntiang is less than the traditional ones.

There are several types of Suntiang depending on the ornaments, the regions and the way of the arrangement. The more detail informations can be found here, unfortunately, it is only available in indonesian. Anyway, Suntiang is one of the most stunning and eye-catching headdress I’ve ever seen. The size and volume, the bold color and the detail of each and every piece of ornaments is just one of a kind and over the top. It also requires strength, patience and will to wear this headpiece.

the first element to put on is the circlet, and then the  3 stalks of red roses

the first element to put on is the circlet, and then the 3 stalks of red roses

the green pandan bun is to support all layers of the headdress

the green pandan bun is to support all layers of the headdress

first layers of bungo sarunai

first layers of bungo sarunai

each stalk of the golden flower is fitted one by one

each stalk of the golden flower is fitted one by one

the golden flower is fitted one by one

jasmine string as teko teko

jasmine string as teko teko

the final form

the final form

This post is my second entry of Sue’s A Word A Week challenge. Please click here to find out the other entries of the challenge.

These pictures are taken by mas Ayub and the crew from Bayang Studio and the Suntiang is properties of Puti Sarah. If there is any mistakes regarding the information about the Suntiang, which is possible regarding I’m not from Minang, please kindly let me know.

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