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An image of Men's headcloth ('ikat kepala'; 'tengkuluk') by

Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Men's headcloth ('ikat kepala'; 'tengkuluk')
Place of origin
Cultural origin
Malay people
20th century
Media category
Materials used
silk, gold metallic thread, natural dyes; weft 'ikat', supplementary weft weave

88.8 x 87.6 cm

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

Headcloths were worn by men throughout coastal Sumatra. This beautiful example of a Palembang headcloth combines a weft ikat ('limar') with a supplementary weft woven in gold thread ('songket'). The central field design is based on a patola pattern - a variation on the eight-petalled lotus design in shades of blue, green, purple, off white and red. This headcloth is indicative of the 'refinement' of dress, social and ritual pursuits, under the influence of Islam.

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.

Exhibition history (1)

Symbols and Ceremonies: Indonesian Textile Traditions, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 2006–28 May 2006