Jakarta, The Ceramic Society of Indonesia, 1984, 2nd edition, (19 x 24, 9 cm), 208 pp. bilingual, numerous ills., some colour plates, hardcover and du
Martavan is the name used to refer to a group of big stoneware or highly fired earthenware storage jars. The name can be traced to the important entrepot port of Martaban in Burma. Martaban was an active base from whence the Chinese wares were shipped to the Near East, India and Africa during the Sung and Ming dynasties and it was at Martaban that these big jars were first observed by Westerbners. Early Western writers on the porcelain trade route called a wide number of ceramic products 'Martavans' after the port. The popular Indonesian name for martavans is tempayan, a name which originates from 'tempat tape' the containers in which the local fermenting rice or cassava is made. Martabani jars have now become decorative pieces in the modern home and their value has soared as the factor of antiquity comes into play. Beyond this, especially among the peoples of Sarawak and the Philippine Archipelago, some jars accredited with magical powers, have become priceless.