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Gable finials

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with two-sided roofs and 'hipped and gabled' roofs in Indonesia. Brushes or plumes were usually not placed on gabled roofs, although exceptions occurred. The chapter also focuses on sources that mention rituals performed when the finials were installed. Roof finials functioned as auspicious spirit attractors in the context of offering rituals. Great variations in the form of gable finials also occurred in other parts of Indonesia. On Tanimbar, for example, the fixing of gable horns (kora) is said to have been restricted to 'named' houses, but this makes only a primary distinction. Gable horns based on the buffalo horn motif and ornamented with vegetal motifs could be seen in many regions of Indonesia. Viewed in the ritual contexts, the house horns were religious symbols indicating that a house was a place of offering and as such under the protection of ancestor spirits.

Keywords: gable finials; house horns; kora; religious symbols; spirit attractors; Tanimbar; vegetal motifs



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