National Geographic : 1920 Jan
BLUE-CLAD FIGURES MOVING ABOUT A VILLAGE INCLOSURE IN SUMATRA That greatest of medieval travelers, Marco Polo, is said to have vis ited Sumatra toward the end of the thirteenth century, but our first definite knowledge of the island was derived from the Portuguese, who landed on its shores sixteen years after the discovery of America. These rediscoverers were supplanted in turn by the Dutch and the English. The English retired in favor of the Dutch a hundred years ago. THIS YOUNG SUMATRANMATRON ISALL DRESSED UP IN HER SILVER EARRINGS Much significance attachestothe wearing ofearrings inthe island. Young girls wear them ornot, asthey choose. Upon marriage the bride must wear the big silver buttons, much after the fashion ofour wedding rings. After thebirth ofthe first child orwhen five years have elapsed, she must remove them. The sagging, buttonless ears of the old women are among their ugliest features.