Man's sarong

DATE:
Late 19th–early 20th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Cotton, metal-wrapped yarn
CLASSIFICATION:
Textiles
DIMENSIONS:
52 × 34 3/4 in. (132.08 × 88.27 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, gift of The Eugene McDermott Foundation
OBJECT NUMBER:
1983.89

General Description

Among the goods brought to Indonesia by Arab and Indian traders were silk and metallic yarns, materials distinctively integrated into the weaving traditions of Sumatra, Bali, and Sumbawa. Metal-wrapped yarn was used extravagantly on this Sumbawa sarong, concentrated in an oppulent center panel on the densely woven cotton skirt. The principle motif is an elaborate plant flanked by confronting bird profiles, woven in silvery yarn on a blue and black plaid ground and oriented horizontally as the sarong is seamed. Although the ancient configuration of a tree flanked by birds can signify the tree of life, it is not clear if its use on this skirt is more decorative than symbolic.

Adapted from

Carol Robbins, "Variations on themes: Sumbawa and Bali," Selections from the Steven G. Alpert Collection of Indonesian Textiles (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1984), n.p.