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Ceremonial Banner (Palepai Maju)

Date:
probably 18th century
Geography:
Indonesia, Sumatra, south central Lampung
Culture:
Lampung
Medium:
Fiber, ceramic and glass beads, cloth, nassa shells
Dimensions:
L. 162 x W. 48 1/2 in. (411.5 x 123.2 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Beadwork
Credit Line:
Gift of Anita E. Spertus and Robert J. Holmgren, in honor of Douglas Newton, 1990
Accession Number:
1990.335.28
  • Description

    In Indonesia textiles have great value as ritual objects and as a form of wealth. Among the most spectacular are the "ship cloths" of the Lampung region in Southern Sumatra, which often depict large ships. This unique beaded ship cloth is perhaps the finest surviving example of the type. The dimensions and design of this textile relate to wall hangings called "palepai," which were displayed by aristocrats on important ceremonial occasions such as marriages, circumcisions, and funerals.
    The composition is dominated by two ships. The ship on the left, set in a night sky, holds a pyramidal shrine representing a sacred mountain or tree. The ship on the right, in a dawning sky, carries what may be a throne ("pepadon," or seat of merit). The ships are separated by a third ship, which bears a mountain.

  • Provenance

    Robert J. Holmgren and Anita E. Spertus, New York, until 1990

  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
316457

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