Woman’s Ceremonial Skirt, South Sumatra

Woman’s Ceremonial Skirt, Tapis
Lampung Region, South Sumatra, Indonesia
Late 19th century
Cotton, silk, natural dyes, couched gold thread, tack and embroidery
H: 50 in x W: 46 in :: 127 cm x 116.8 cm

This exceptional Tapis is an early figurative piece worn by an aristocratic woman.

The ceremonial skirt’s composition is centered by repetitive great houses or shrines that are decorated in gold couched thread with a male and female ancestor figure on the house’s lilting roof.   The curved architectural elements emulate buffalo horns alluding to high status and rites of transition.

Most Lampung skirts are non-pictorial and reflect the mounting influence of Islam.  This unusual textile embodies earlier animistic values that are found in all Asian cultures; that of a tripartite cosmos where heaven, earth, and man live in balance with one another. Here, fanciful mystical creatures possess both upper world (birds = male) and lower world (powerful creatures = female) traits as harmonic centering devices and protective beings.

Price on request

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