Ceremonial cloth (tampan)

CULTURE:
Paminggir people
DATE:
19th century
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General Description

A ship is always the most prominent feature appearing on Kalianda tampan. The ship signifies transition and pedigree, and as a conveyance, it is a bringer of wealth and prosperity. On this example, the multiple hooked prows of the ship frame an imposing architectural structure that recalls the forms of communal houses and ancestral shrines. Above these buildings is another construction that most likely represents a ceremonial entryway that was used to honor bridal couples and the recipients of titles. The symbolism of the great ship also reflects a well-developed titular hierarchy that was introduced to Lampung by the Sultans of Bantam as early as the 16th century. The sultans dispensed titles and privileges in exchange for Lampung’s valuable pepper crop, and many of the most aristocratic families trace their ancestral ties to this kingdom.

Adapted from

Steven G. Alpert, "Ceremonial cloth (tampan)," in Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art, ed. Reimar Schefold in collaboration with Steven Alpert (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013), 102-103.