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Palepai (ceremonial hanging) with ship design

late 19th century


Unknown Artist


This palepai is typical of the Kota Agung/Putihdoh region in the southern part of Lampung province. The central panel is surrounded by the typical heavy border of the region. It has several bands of patterning, including blue scroll-work that is also common on tampans. The boat is carrying a fleet of smaller boats, as well as human figures riding stylized elephants and abstracted bird and tree-like motifs. Metallic strips couched onto the surface of the fabric with plant fibre yarn enhance the colourful design. Red, blue, and yellow natural dyes are popular on palepai and tampans from Lampung. Palepai were symbols of hereditary leadership and were passed down within families to the eldest sons of local leaders.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2011.


Place where the work was made

Kota Agung Putihdoh region Lampung Sumatra Indonesia


late 19th century

Media category


Materials used

cotton, plant fibre, metallic strips, natural dyes, and continuous and discontinuous supplementary weft decoration on a plain weave foundation, couching


54.0 x 268.0 cm


D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2003


Not on display

Accession number


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 345 (colour illus.). The colour illus. below on page 345 is a detail of this work.

Susan Scollay, Hali, 'The Art of Half the World', pg. 110-111, Mar 2004-Apr 2004, 110 (colour illus.), 111. no.3

Jane Somerville, Look, 'All the Gallery's objects', pg. 10-11, Sydney, Apr 2006, 10 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on pg.10 is a detail of this work.