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Chastity cover

Ca. 10th - 13th century

Origin

Northeastern Mindanao

Medium

Gold

Dimensions

7.49 x 6.98 cm, 63.5 grams

Collection

Archaeological Materials

Description

This chastity cover features a conch shell in the center surrounded by spiral designs and the outer frame encased with raised cord-like patterns in repoussé. The conch shell is traditionally associated with the Hindu god Vishnu.

In Northeastern Mindanao, a chastity cover was used symbolically to protect a noble female’s genital area. These rounded triangles made of gold were kept in place by a string inserted through the slender tube at the top and tied around the waist. Similar covers made of other materials were traditionally worn by young girls and boys in different Southeast Asian cultures to mark rites of passage during puberty.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

Museum Storage

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