Exhibitions/ Art Object

Soldier’s Jacket (Su’a Senakut)

Date:
18th century
Culture:
India (Coromandel Coast), for the Thai market
Medium:
Cotton (drawn resist, painted mordant, dyed)
Dimensions:
center back length: 27.2 in (69 cm); sleeve width between cuffs: 61 in (154.9 cm )
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Not on view
This tunic is a rare survivor of the type worn by the King of Siam’s royal guard. Indian dyers carefully painted the garment’s pattern onto uncut cloth, which was later tailored in Thailand. A Chinese-style cloud collar—symbolizing protection—appears above the fearful face of a grotesque demon with bulging eyes and fangs. The same face is seen in profile on each shoulder, with its jaws open wide. This Thai figure, often called Kiartimuk, is derived from the Indian planetary deity Rahu, the bringer of eclipses (“seizer of the sun and the moon”).
Henry Ginsburg (b. 1940 - d. 2007), London, U.K., 1981 Purchsed by the present owner from the above, 1983