This palepai is decorated with a repeated motif of human figures holding flags and birds. Narrow stripes of ochre yellow frame the brown and indigo blue of the main design. The pattern is not as common as the ship motif. This textile is protected by the addition of red and blue pieces of fabric around the edges. Palepai were symbols of hereditary leadership and were passed down within families to the eldest sons of local leaders. The Semangka area follows Saibatin traditions characterised, in part, by hereditary chieftanships.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2011.
Palepai (ceremonial hanging) with design of human figures holding flags and birds
late 19th century
cotton, natural dyes; supplementary weft weaving
82.0 x 257.0 cm
D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2003
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Symbols and Ceremonies: Indonesian Textile Traditions, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 2006–28 May 2006