Vessel in the Form of a Horn, Vietnam (Sa Huỳnh culture?), ca. 500 B.C.–A.D. 100. Stone. H. 2 3/4 (7 cm); Diam. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Purchase, Rogers Fund, Josephine L. Berger-Nadler and Dr. M. Leon Canick Gift, and John and Evelyn Kossak Foundation Inc. Gift, 1999 (1999.276) © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This enigmatic object in the shape of a horn with a curled end is related in stone type and patina to two forms of earrings—one circular and the other with addorsed horned animals—associated with the Sa Huỳnh culture of southern Vietnam. One end of the « horn » has been carved to form a small cavity that could have been used to hold a liquid. It is possible that this delicate sculpture was a funerary object intended to replace a more perishable horn item. Little understood and known only through archaeological excavations, the Sa Huỳnh culture is thought to have played an important role in the trade in luxury goods—ceramics, metalwork, and stone goods—that flourished between different regions of mainland and island Southeast Asia.