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Embroidered Jacket
Kauer People, Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia
circa 1900

width: 131cm, length: 32cm

Short jackets such as this example were worn by young, unmarried Kauer women together with a sarong. They are constructed from a rectangular piece of
woven cotton cloth coloured with natural dyes. The frontpiece comprises separately embroidered panels with small mirror (mica) applique sequins called
cermuk. The panels are bordered by thread wrapped with real gold.

The back panel is of black cotton woven with more gold thread.

The many cowrie or
nassa shells about the neck and collar and stitched to the back most probably are designed to express the hope that the wearer will have
many children.

Click
here to see an example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The example here is in very good condition. It is free of repairs, insect holes and tears.

References:
Brinkgreve, F,. & R. Sulistianingsih (eds),
Sumatra: Crossroads of Cultures, KITLV Press, 2009.
Gillow, J.,
Traditional Indonesian Textiles, Thames & Hudson, 1995.
Maxwell, R.,
Sari to Sarong: Five Hundred Years of Indians and Indonesian Textile Exchange, NGA, 2003.
Vanderstraete, A.,
Magie van de Vrouw: Weefsels en Sieraden uit de Gordel van Smaragd (The Magic of Women), Wereldmuseum, 2012.

Provenance: UK private collection

Inventory no.: 1967

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