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Ceremonial skirt ( songket)


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Sumatra Indonesia
    Media category
    Materials used
    silk, gold thread and natural dyes
    86.0 x 203.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Dr John Yu 1998
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    One of the most prestigious of locally produced cloths is the colourful silk weft ikat textiles of Palembang in Sumatra. This elaborate ‘red and gold’ example is woven with an intricate pattern in a supplementary weft weave (‘songket’) which replicates the motifs of the coveted ‘patola’, and uses, as in this piece, gold metal-wrapped threads. These textiles were folded lengthwise and worn over the shoulder or wrapped around the waist. They were usually worn on important ceremonial occasions. The richer and more sumptuous the display of gold on any particular textile, the greater the wealth and prestige of the wearer’s family. Palembang, on the eastern coast of Sumatra, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Srivijaya. As a wealthy trading power in Southeast Asia, it attracted Indian and Chinese traders, who introduced silk and the technique of silk weaving. A social class wealthy enough to enjoy such luxurious textiles ensured their production.

    The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.346.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication