Gold Tapis Sarong with Bamboo Shoot DecorationTX4650_2-TX4650_4-Reverse (detail)

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

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: 50" X 42"

Inventory number: TX4650



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