Ceremonial Banner (Palepai Maju)


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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.

Ceremonial Banner (Palepai Maju), Fiber, ceramic and glass beads, cloth, nassa shells, Lampung

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