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Asian art

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Tatibin (ceremonial cloth) with images of ships

early 20th century


Unknown Artist


This tatibin is a typical product of the Kota Agung region because it makes use of three main, bold colours and has several bands of decoration around the central panel. In particular, the left and right edges have a row of blue scrolls that are only found on cloths from the southern area of Lampung. The image in the central panel is a ship carrying other boats with fish in the water below. The boldness of the design results from the contrasting supplementary weft threads. The dark blue boat stands out against the red, orange, and cream surrounding imagery. The strips of metal and the silver-wrapped threads add further luminosity. The metal pieces and silver-wrapped threads are supplementary threads woven into the cloth. Usually, they are couched onto the surface of the fabric. The simplicity of the design indicates that it was made in the early 1900s.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, April 2011.


Place where the work was made

Kota Agung Lampung Sumatra Indonesia


early 20th century

Media category


Materials used

cotton, natural dyes, silver-wrapped thread, metallic strips, and continuous and discontinuous supplementary weft decoration on a plain weave foundation


40.0 x 126.0 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000


Not on display

Accession number


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


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.