Woman's skirt (lau pahudu)

DATE:
19th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Homespun cotton
CLASSIFICATION:
Textiles
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 26 1/2 x 61 in. (67.31 x 154.94 cm.)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of the Pacific Islands
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, the Steven G. Alpert Collection of Indonesian Textiles, anonymous gift
OBJECT NUMBER:
1983.94

General Description

The dominant motif of this superb supplementary warp skirt is a large and bold fish. It may represent a ray, which is distinguished from other fish with horizontally flat bodies by its forked tail. The lines shown inside the body probably represent bones. Accompanying the fish are two equestrian figures and two women wearing sacred mamuli ornaments. Horses are symbols of wealth and prestige.

According to the Sumbanese, fish and other aquatic creatures are associated with the underworld. Revered ancestors manifest themselves in fish.

Excerpt from

Roslyn Adele Walker, Label text, 2013.