Cotton, painted resist and block-printed mordant, dyed
H (weft) 98.7 cm (38 7/8 in.) x W (warp) 494.5 cm (194 11/16 in.)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2005
Not on view
One of the finest surviving examples of its type, this spectacular full-length cloth is composed of a series of stylized but still identifiable interlocking trees that form a densely forested landscape. A number of Indonesian communities prized these textiles, including the Toraja of central highland Sulawesi, who refer to them as Maa’, or cloths of the ancestors. The late fourteenth- to early fifteenth-century date of this piece demonstrates that the trade in Gujarati-painted and printed cotton goods to Indonesian markets was well established long before the Portuguese arrived in India.
cat. no. 3b
[ Thomas Murray , Mill Valley, CA, 1993–2005; sold to MMA]