114-003 Woman's Ceremonial Tube Skirt (Tapis Raja Medal)
The tapis (sarongs) of Lampung on the island of Sumatra were highly valuable textiles in part because the materials that decorate them (gold-wrapped threads, silk floss, and mirrors) signal wealth and status. By wearing a tapis, a woman was literally wearing her family’s wealth. Lampung women have worn tapis for hundreds of years and still wear them today.
The two-tone colour theme of this Tapis Raja Medal (King’s Badge Tapis) provides the setting for a sumptuous display of human and animals couched with gold threads on plain cotton ground. Most striking are two broad bands with abstract human figures either standing or riding mythical animals, including outsized cockerels and long-tailed nagas (dragons) while narrower bands (dyed red) are embellished with stylized birds and elephants in the upper and lower registers respectively. A tapis of such grandeur would have been the preserve of women of nobility and worn on important occasions such as weddings. A similar example of this textile is featured in M. Gittinger’s book, Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia, Oxford University Press, 1985. Other examples are in the Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, U.S.
|a. Origin||Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia|
|b. Estimated Age||19th century|
|c. Craft (Embroidery etc)||Embroidery handspun cotton, natural dyes, gold-wrapped threads, mica mirrors.|
|d. Size (mention cm/inches)||114 x 59.7 cm|
|e. Condition Report||Excellent condition with no loss.|
|f. Damage & Shortcomings||Nil.|
|g. Item Location (Country)||Singapore|
|Seller Name||Wai Mun Fong|
|Seller's Email IDemail@example.com|