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Ceremonial Bell: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
One of the earliest Bronze-Iron Age cultures in Southeast Asia was the so-called Dong Son culture which flourished around 400 b.c to a.d. 200 in regions of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Yunnan province in China, and Indonesia. Relatively recent Dong Son discoveries have yielded large, elegantly-shaped bronze bells like this one, decorated overall with a double spiral motif. Cast with the piece-mould process, these bells are thought to have been used in cremation ceremonies. This magnificent example, larger and better preserved than most of the twenty or so others, is decorated with a double spiral design set within vertical registers defined by lines with "saw-tooth" markings. While the meaning of these spirals is still unknown, they appear in nearly identical form on all the bells of this type regardless of size.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009