Textiles and garments were an integral part of the social fabric all over south-east Asia. They indicate wealth and clan association. They also show what their owners/wearers aspired and wished for. All this symbolism add up to their being power objects that offer protection to their wearers.
Lampung, in South East Sumatra, was for centuries an important stop for maritime travel to the far east. As such, its merchants had access to raw materials such as dyes, yarns, gemstones, and gold. They also accumulated great wealth which they poured into their textiles, garments, jewelry, and artifacts.
Women wear the Tapis sarongs. They are tube sarong decorated in a linear design of abstract shapes, botanical motifs, animal motifs and sometimes Roman letters that don’t add up to words. Each village has its vocabulary of design elements. Metallic threads, glass, mica and cowry shells are often used. Sarongs are worn with long sleeve shirts which are similarly decorated.
Circa: Early 20th century
Origin: Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia
Material: Silk/Cotton, metallic thread and mica
Condition: Few repaired small holes. Good condition
Dimensions: 45" x 48"
Inventory number: TX4788