Mar 16, 2018
Mar 16, 2018

Tapis (Garment)

Tapis (Garment)


Tabby weave, warp ikat; cotton / embroidery; silk

Overall: 130.2 x 117.8 cm (51 1/4 x 46 3/8 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1983.215



"Tapis" from central and southern Sumatra combine warp ikat with embroidery. The angular, geometric designs of the warp ikat can be traced back to the bronze age culture of China. During the first millennium B.C., elements of that culture spread to Indonesia where they survived in remote areas well into the 20th century. Completely different are the mysterious, curvilinear forms of the embroidered bands. Some of these have become too abstracted to identitfy; but others can be recognized as human figures wearing the feathered and horned headdresses of head-hunting rituals. Embroidery designs were presented by a man to his prospective bride, and their motifs were inspired by activities specifically performed by men, such as wood carving, metalwork, and headhunting.

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Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

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