Jatim Beads

The name Jatim is an abbreviation of Java Timor ( East Java ) and was coined as a name for a particular type of beads found in grave-sites in East Java. These beads were made in the first millenuium, most probably between 400 and 900AD. Ancient Jatim produced in Java are divided into four sub-groups:

• Mosaic beads which have been made using the millefiore technique in which a thin layer of preformed cane slices are applied over over a monochrome core,

• Small and large beads known as pelangi, or rainbow, beads because of their distinctive pattern of combed stripes. Pelangi beads typically have either two or four colors.
• Small (usually 0.7 to 1.0 cm diameter) spiral-striped beads.
• Monochrome beads, usually yellow, with an outer layer of better-quality glass over a rough glass core.

Green and white mosaic Jatim bead


These beads show the use of two techniques, millefiore and combing


 The second type of Jatim bead is called pelangi (lit. rainbow). The pattern is of stripes of glass have been combed onto the surface of the bead.


An example of a pelangi bead in the bicone form


Another method used was to wind the colored canes around the bead.


Wound bead


There is evidence of extensive trade between the Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire centred on Constantinople) and the Sasian (Neo-Persian Empire, 224 to 651AD), and the Indonesian bead making style was influence the the Roman mosaic and millefiori beads.

Evidence of these influences is to be found by the analysis of the glass used which shows that in many instances the raw materials were from both early Byzantine and Sasanian Persian glass. The trade was not just one way. A Jatim bead made in Java has been found in excavations  early Byzantine Red Sea port of Berenike, Egypt and in the other direction in tombs in Japan and Korea, (9



Jatim beads in some categorizations also include the hexagonal bicone shaped beads that we call Buddha beads

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