Gold Tapis Sarong with Bamboo Decoration
This tapis sarong was made in Sumatra, likely in the late 19th century. The surface of this tapis is almost completely covered in gold-wrapped thread in a pyramidal pattern called pucuk rebung, or bamboo shoot. The name for a tapis that is almost completely covered in gold is jung sarat, which means “fully laden.” This term is a good example of the prominent role that nautical references play in Lampung regional culture, because it equates a gold-covered tapis to a ship full of valuable cargo.
Tapis are tubular garments from Indonesia. They are made out of one or more panels of cloth that are stitched together to create a tube dress that women can then wear tucked under their arms. Tapis are usually made out of cotton and then decorated with gold-wrapped thread, mica, mirrors, beads, and coins. It can take a woman as long as a year to complete a tapis, and the finished garment can weigh upwards of 10 pounds.
The tradition of making and wearing tapis declined during Dutch colonial rule, but after independence the Indonesian government began promoting a revival of this important textile tradition.
Circa: Late 19th century
Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
Material: Cotton and Metallic Thread
Dimensions: 50" X 42"
Inventory number: TX4650