Sumatra, the Isle of Gold located along the maritime route between Asia and the West, was part of the early global network of commerce and cultural exchange. In the southern tip of Sumatra, the people of Lampung poured their trading profits into ceremonial materials and artful adornments. Wealthy women of this region created a distinctive genre of garments that exemplified their family prestige, clan identity and affluence. These ornate tubular sarongs, or tapis, were woven from cotton in a horizontal stripe design and further decorated with metallic thread, silk embroidery, mica fragments and other shiny materials. They were worn with long sleeved jackets similarly decorated. This splendid tapi sarong features unique bands of monsters with stylized riders, dragons, boats carrying people and birds in flight, all abstacted to resemble arabesques and all executed with densely couched gold thread.
Circa: Late 19th century
Origin: Abung people, Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia
Material: Cotton embroidered with metallic thread
Condition: One repaired hole and minor stains, very good
Dimensions: 39" x 51"
Inventory number: TX4176