Pidan Temple Hanging

Khmer People, Cambodia

Silk; weft ikat

19th/early 20th Century

62 x 32 in/157.5 x 81 cm

Pidans were never worn as clothing but rather were pious offerings, made to be hung in a Buddhist temple. This cloth displays a Jataka narrative, describing a tale of an earlier incarnation of the Buddha. It tells the story of the “king who was too generous:” when asked, he gave his only son over to a demon because he could not say no to any request. The demon proved to be a spirit helper and the King, through his generosity, achieved enlightenment and his son was returned to him.