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Collection

An image of headcloth by
Alternate image of headcloth by

North Sumatra, Indonesia

Title
headcloth
Place of origin
North SumatraIndonesia
Cultural origin
Batak
Year
20th century
Media category
Textile
Materials used
handspun cotton, natural dyes; twill weave with supplementary weft design at centre and at ends
Dimensions

42.2 x 220 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
Accession number
242.2000
Copyright
© Copyright reserved
Location
Not on display
Further information

This headcloth is most likely to be associated with fertility. Woven in earth tones and heightened with blue, the geometric design on the end panels incorporates an elongated triangular motif symbolising the male principle, whilst the diamond design in the central section of this cloth represents the female principle. Textiles bearing this male-female design are used in rites by peasant farmers to secure an abundant harvest.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2000

Bibliography (3)

Mattiebelle Gittinger, Splendid symbols: textiles and tradition in Indonesia, Singapore, 1990.

Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, Textile traditions of Indonesia, Los Angeles, 1977.

Robyn Maxwell, Textiles of Southeast Asia : tradition, trade and transformation, Canberra, 1990, 139.