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Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity
Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia
Mary-Louise Totton




Hood Museum of Art
2009 • 208 pp. 180 illus. (163 color) 8 1/2 x 12"
Art / Decorative Arts & Material Culture / Textiles

$39.95 Paperback, 978-0-944722-37-4



Discover the cultural iconography of these extraordinary textiles and how tapis garments exemplify the social station and clan identity of the women of South Sumatra

Located between the two maritime routes connecing East and West Asia, Sumatra, the fabled Isle of Gold, was for centuries the source for much of the world’s pepper. In the southern tip of Sumatra, the peoples of Lampung, or “Pepperland,” poured the profits of their trade into ceremonial materials and adornments. The ornate tubular sarongs known as tapis were hand-woven from cotton and silk threads, colored with ancestral dye recipes, embellished with gold- and silver-wrapped threads, embroidered with silk or pineapple fiber threads, and appliquéd with mirrors and mica. These sumptuous garments communicated a family’s global contacts, social station, and clan identity. Mary-Louise Totton writes about the history, materials and techniques, content and imagery, and present-day contexts of these extraordinary textiles.

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MARY-LOUISE TOTTON is assistant professor of art history at the Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University.



Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:30:27 -0500