Sanggori or Serpent Form Head Ornament

The Sanggori, a curved serpent-shaped brass head ornament from Central Sulawesi, has roots extending back to the late Bronze Age culture. It was traditionally worn by chieftains during ceremonies and in battle, believed to bestow magical protective powers on its wearer. The shine of a well polished Sanggori was considered strong enough to blind the enemy and exorcise demons.

The spiral of the Sanggori often ends with the head of a serpent, considered to be one of the oldest motifs in Austronesian cultures and a powerful creature associated with the underworld. Later influences may have included the Naga snake and the dragon. Like all ornaments from Sulawesi, the Sanggori illustrated prestige, power and high social status. At times they were also worn by aristocratic men and women during ritual festivals.