Believed to be Asia's first civilization for ancient bronze casting, this beautiful elaborate large ancient bronze bangle bracelet comes from the Dong Son culture of ancient Southeast Asia. It features wonderful encrusted mint blue-green patina as well as intact decorative work in its design. It represents a complex form of construction being hollow and with an open groove on the outside circumference. This, combined with the decorative detail indicates it would have required an extremely talented ancient artisan in its manufacture! It is rigid and because of its size and its inability to flex, it would only fit a small child. Perhaps this was its intent and it would have been worn by a child of an extremely wealthy or noble status family in its day.
The Dong Son culture (named for Đông Sơn, a village in Vietnam) was a Bronze Age culture in ancient Vietnam centered at the Red River Valley of northern Vietnam from 1000 BC until the first century AD. It was the last great culture of Văn Lang and continued well into the period of the Âu Lạc state. Its influence spread to other parts of Southeast Asia, including Maritime Southeast Asia, from about 1000 BC to 1 BC.
The Dong Son people, who are also known as Lạc or Lạc Việt, were skilled at cultivating rice, keeping water buffalo and pigs, fishing and sailing in long dugout canoes. They also were skilled bronze casters, which is evidenced by the Dong Son drum found widely throughout northern Vietnam and South China.
The origins of Dong Son culture may be traced back to ancient bronze castings. The traditional theory is based on the assumption that bronze casting in eastern Asia originated in northern China. However, according to archaeological discoveries in Isan, Thailand in the 1970s, the casting of bronze began in Southeast Asia first. The Dong Son bronze industry has a local origin, equivalent in timing to the Gò Mun culture, 700-500 BC. This includes bronze axes, spearheads and knives. This was followed by daggers, swords, drums, and situla from 500-0 BC. Finally, Chinese seals, coins, mirrors and halberds appear in the first century AD.