Ceremonial mat (lampit)

CULTURE:
Paminggir people
DATE:
19th century
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General Description

This ceremonial sitting mat is centered by a sun symbol surrounded by eight birds and starlike rosettes that are repeated throughout the entire composition. Four ships with great prows or wings carry symbolic trees, ancestors, and various animals as their cargo. The mat is bordered by four crescent moons and banded by leafy tendrils. At each cardinal point is a single star or rosette. The designs were burned into the mat’s surface with a heated stylus and hot embers.

Lampit served as seats of honor. Their cosmological renderings advertised an individual’s prestige and lineage. Far more than just a seat or a mat, lampit reflected a cosmological order that blessed aristocrats and gave them supernatural protection while ensuring the presence of the ancestors at ceremonial events.

Excerpt from

Roslyn Walker, Label text, 2013.