Portuguese cannons were important objects of value and prestige in parts of Southeast Asia and of Oceania. This piece comes from the region of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Originally, such cannons were indeed used as firearms. They could be brought on expeditions and were mounted as determents on ships. There, they were also a good display of their owners' status: since such a cannon represented a large metal value, it was a wealth indicator and served as capital asset. Hence it developed into an item of bride price.