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2010/1/505 Calendar, Sumatran, cylindrical, bamboo, maker unknown, Sumatra, 20th century. Click to enlarge.

Sumatran calander

This slide rule is from the collection of calculating instruments assembled by Assoc. Professor Allan Bromley. His collection provides examples of most forms of calculating devices made from the early 18th to the late 20th centuries. Slide rules constitute a substantial proportion of this collection.

Over the 19th and much of the 20th centuries the slide rule was the primary instrument for calculation used by many people engaged in the trades and in engineering. Although originally invented …


Object No.


Object Statement

Calendar, Sumatran, cylindrical, bamboo, maker unknown, Sumatra, 20th century

Physical Description

Calendar, Sumatran, cylindrical, incised markings with decorative band around top, three tables incised onto main body of bamboo.

These are a grid (matrix) of symbols in twelve columns (months) and 30 rows (days), a table of six columns with characters (symbols), derived from the Brahmanic script of Hindu India, incised down their lengths, and three blocks with an animal symbol and characters incised. These fill the body of the cylinder. There are two holes drilled into the upper edge of the bamboo that had a string that has since frayed and been placed inside the cylinder.

This may be a Batak calendar from traditional Sumatran culture. It is possible that this is actually a medicine container rather than a calendar although it does have the calendar tables incised around it.


White label sticked at bottom, handwrited in black ' Bromley / 1984-91 '.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program in memory of Associate Professor Allan Bromley, 2010

Acquisition Date

19 January 2010

Cite this Object


Sumatran calander 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 30 March 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Sumatran calander |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=30 March 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}