Minangkabau Shoulder Cloth (Salendang)
This shoulder cloth (salendang) was made by Minangkabau weavers out of cotton, silk, and silver-wrapped thread. The Minangkabau are a historically matrilineal Muslim society organized in small democratically-run villages in Western Sumatra that are known for their richly symbolic and regionally-specific ceremonial clothing. Since each village is run by democratic consensus, each locality has its own specific rules about what and how ceremonial clothing should be worn. Minangkabau people can therefore usually identify where strangers are from based on the way they wear their skirts, hats, and shoulder cloths, or from the motifs woven into their clothing.
This shoulder cloth is thinner and has less metalwork than many of the others in Sarajo’s collection. The weaver created a repeating pattern of horizontal registers with swirling red and white motifs bordered by red stripes, alternating with black and white stripes.
Circa: 19th century
Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
Material: Cotton, silk, and silver-wrapped thread.
Condition: Good. Slight fraying at edges.
Dimensions: 59" x 7.75"
Inventory number: TX4526