Indonesian Tampan Textile
Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia
This rare piece will also be part of the exhibit and is another fascinating ritual cloth. These fascinating cloths became commonly known as “ship cloths” since many of the motifs used clearly reflect the importance of maritime trade as a source of wealth, influence and valued trade goods. A religious aspect also developed around the ship imagery due to the belief that life transitions such as birth, puberty, marriage and death exposed the participants to a vulnerability which can be shielded during this “travel” from one life phase to another by this iconic spiritual “life boat”. Thus tampans served as a tangible reminder of human connection to ancestors and the sacred world. The myriad uses of tampans clearly indicate their importance; they were used as gift exchange and wrapping, food carriers and covers, and were even placed in the joints of a new home under construction. This type of textile was no longer made after the 1920s, making them rare and collectible.
Courtesy Dancing Threads Indonesian Textiles