Women's jacket "Bajuh monyet"

800 €

Kauer people, Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia, early 20th century, private collection from Finland.

Lampung is a vast territory that lies below Palembang at the southernmost tip of Sumatra. Originally the lineage of the Lampung people came from Sekala Brak. The indigenous people of Lampung (ulun Lampung) divide into Saibatin and Pepadun categories. The term "Lampung" is actually a generic term and refers to three ethnic groups: The Abung (Abung Siwo Mego), a people that inhabited the mountains in the north of the province; The Pubian (Pubian Telu Suku), from the eastern lowlands (when grouped together, are also referred to as Pepadun) and the Paminggir, who lived along the southern coasts (Saibatin group). The three groups consider themselves related to one another. They share a mythical founding father, Si Lampung, and a history that describes the migrations from the land of origin, Sekala Barak (to the south of Lake Ranau).

Family groups that left that region formed endogamous units (called buwei), whose territories were called marga (or mega). A marga would consist of several villages (tiyuh) and each tiyuh would in turn comprise various patrilinear clans (suku). The eldest male descendants of the founder of each buwei, tiyuh, and suku were held in high regard and bore the title of penyimbang. The three separate penyimbang occupied themselves, each at his own level, mainly with the administration of adat justice. Adat, derived from an Arabic word, refers to customs and traditional practises.

The Lampung is home to the most celebrated textile traditions of the Indonesian Archipelago. The women of Lampung developed a rich variety of textiles that included ceremonial forms (tampan, palepai) as well as other types, which were used as clothing (kain tapis sarongs etc.) These meticulously woven (the weaving process is called mattakh) of home spun cotton/silk textiles were decorated with mica, glass, shells, polychrome silk and predominantly metallic gold or silver wrapped threads attached and held in place with decorative stitches on the underside, using a technique called "sasab". Ornamentation exist on a textiles symbolize a form of Lampung public confidence towards the grandeur of nature and the greatness of God. Traditionally using floral motifs, it has numerous variations. The word "pucuk rebung" means bamboo shoot and its elongated triangle is a common motif found in the designs of the Lampung tapis. Other designs may include snakes, elephants, birds, ships, and various mythical creatures.

Traditional textile colours came from nature. For red colorant, they used sepang (Caesalpinia sappan), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), areca nut (Areca catechu) and henna (Lawsonia inermis). The turmeric (Curcuma longa) and tamarind (Tamarindus indica) was used for yellow. Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) was used to obtain black dye. Durian (Durio zibethnius) was used for brown and indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) and the lanson fruit (Lansium parasiticum) for the blue. To preserve yarn, they used the roots of the fragrant citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus). Then, to avoid discoloring, they used betel leaves (Piper betle).

The production of fine textiles increased in the late 19th century as Lampung became prosperous due its pepper cultivation and related industry and trade, but the devastating eruption of the Krakatoa volcano in 1883 destroyed many weaving villages, especially in the Kalianda area. In early 20th century continued conversion to Islam decreased the importance of region's traditions. As the result, by the 1920's, the production of high quality Lampung textiles had ground to a halt. The material culture and art history of Lampung's past are only partially understood.

Absolutely stunning old women's jacket "bajuh monyet" with alternating vertical bands of different shades of black, indigo blue, Indian red and burnt orange. Embroidered with warped and couched golden thread. Delicate shell embroidery on the collar. Good condition. Jacket is carefully attached with pins into modern frame. Age-related minimal wear. Thread loss, slight tarnishing, small stains and loose threads. Size approx. 54,5cm x 115,0cm (with modern frame).

NB! Fragile. We will not post this item. Pick-up from the shop.