Beadwork jacket (sape manik)

Maloh peoples
late 19th–early 20th century
more object details

General Description

This beaded sleeveless jacket features a dynamic stylized figure posed squatting with upraised arms and splayed legs. Such beings, called kahle'tau, are considered to be helpful. They accompanied and served aristocrats on their souls' journeys to the afterlife. The kahle'tau is surrounded by an interlocking mesh of protective designs. This jacket once belonged to a warrior, who wore it on important ceremonial occasions.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, 2016.