Image: Indonesian Textile E77747
This sekomandi cloth is an ikat, probably funeral shroud, from Kalumpang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It was made in the last quarter of the 19th century with cotton and natural dyes.
This type is the largest and most valuable ikat cloth in Toraja culture - woven only in the villages of Ronkong and Kalumpang and traded south to the Sa'dan Toraja. Now very rare, ikat shrouds are handed down within families, and must be kept separate from other personal objects in the family home because they are used to wrap corpses. Recently they are also used as wedding gifts and decorations in marriage ceremonies.
Explanation: Ikat – the word, borrowed from the Indonesian language, describes the method of weaving that uses dyed threads to produce coloured patterns, as well as the type of fabric made in this process.
- © Australian Museum