ITEM 16242

Woman’s Ceremonial Skirt, tapis inuh cumi cumi

Paminggir People, Lampung
Cotton, silk; embroidery, warp ikat
19th Century
50.5 x 45.5 in / 128 x 116 cm

Tapis inuh cumi cumi are one of the most celebrated of all Indonesian textiles, both visually compelling and mysterious. Worn as a skirt, we observe four bands of ikat in deep brown and two panels of finely stitched embroidery, the primary motif of which has been interpreted as a squid or cuttle fish, hence the name cumi cumi. However, when viewed in the warp direction, instead of a squid, we observe a tableau of a possible disembodied ancestor figure carrying a child in the womb. Inuh refers to the costly fine white imported silk thread used to create this masterpiece.

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