Tapis Sarong with Polychrome Strip
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 example of tapi sarong has a number of different stripes alternating with metallic thread throughout. Towards the base of the piece there is a band of repeating brightly colored anthropomorphic bird figures outlined in metallic thread.
Circa: Early 20th century
Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
Material: Cotton, metallic thread, silk
Dimensions: 46" x 47"
Inventory number: TX4448