South Sumatra, due to its location along the maritime routes to South and East Asia, had a thriving merchant class that was eager to display its wealth. The primary way to display wealth was through costumes and jewelry. Lampung women’s festive wear consisted of a tapis sarong topped by long sleeve jacket, both made of the same material and similarly decorated.

The tapis sarong ground is usually earth toned cotton and horizontally striped. The decoration is then applied with couched metal thread , silk embroidery, sequins and small pieces of mica or glass. Tribal and familial affiliation dictated the decoration of the sarongs and the motifs included zoomorphic shapes, Roman letters that don’t add up to words as they were copied by illiterate embroiderers, and as in this case, just plain rows that are studded with glittering mica fragments.

Circa: Late 19th century

Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia

Material: Silk, cotton, sequins, mica and metallic thread

Condition: Excellent condition

Dimensions: 44” x 48”

Inventory number: NS0004



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