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.
late 19th century
cotton, plant fibre, metallic strips, natural dyes; supplementary weft weaving, couching
54.0 x 268.0 cm
D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2003
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Symbols and Ceremonies: Indonesian Textile Traditions, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 2006–28 May 2006