\u00a0Weaving ceased in Lampung at the end of the 19th century. Ceased. Extinct. Forever. This fact would be tragic even if we were speaking of some other geography.\nBut once we see the weavings of Lampung,\u00a0 the tragedy assumes a far greater significance.\nThe textiles woven here are some of the most beautiful ones ever woven.\nFrom the perspective of color. From the perspective of weave. And from the perspective of the drawing & the mysterious iconography.\nThe tradition of burying important cloths in the grave and the traditional rituals necessitating use throughout its lifetime,\u00a0 result in the vacuum of pre-19th century Indonesian textiles in the world today. Of all the textiles in Lampung, the Tampans were at the heart of rituals and used as integral elements of ceremonies during births, deaths, weddings etc. And through usage, they were subjected to wear and tear, that made it hard for most to survive.\nFurther, legend has it that the tsunami following the Krakatau eruption led to widespread devastation that also caused these weaving skills to die out. And so we have very few surviving pieces.\nAs I read more about this piece of textile I cannot decide whether I am more struck by their beauty or by everything they represent\nThe boats, the men, the trees, spirits and the story \u2026.\nThe iconography used in these Tampans is vivid and showcases lifestyle snapshots presented within symbols. These cloths are used during ceremonies that signify transition : birth, death, boyhood to manhood, singlehood to marriage etc. and ship in these signifies the blessing of security within which the transition may take place. Some articles on the subject suggest that the boats were also omnipresent in the port life of the location in that era and those were copied into the weavings. In Indonesian literature of that era there is a mention of palace communities \u2013 rulers with their retinues \u2013 that travelled on the boat from port to port with prestige goods . The woven icons may be reflections of that lifestyle. Since the original weavers have taken their secrets with them, the words \u2018conjecture\u2019 \u2018outsider\u2019s attribution\u2019 \u2018only a hypothesis\u2019 may be seen in the material available on the subject.\nAll that I know for sure, is that these pieces have an enigma, an allure and a mystical quality that is hard to match in other textiles.\nHere are recently acquired\u00a0 examples in the Wovensouls collection that are possibly from several different weaving regions in Lampung : Kalianda, Komering & Kota Agung.\nThe asymmetry and the large motifs make this so clearly authentic \u2013 for no one would create this incongruence with intent. This is a case of \u2018it just so happened that\u2019 \u2026. no space was left for a symmetrical motif. The lack of perfection makes it endearing! I can just imagine how perplexed the maker must have been at suddenly realising that some improvisation and adjustment would have to be devised imaginatively in order to complete this piece.\n***\n\n70cm x 57cm\n\nTampans from that era are never perfectly symmetrical but the asymmetries\u00a0 seen throughout the weaving are usually in the minor field elements (as seen in the first Tampan) that usually result from the imprecise technique and estimation errors. In this piece the asymmetry in the middle section appears planned. This feature is\u00a0 unusual.\n***\nThe two people in the upper half of this wearing crowns possible signify royalty or nobility.\u00a0 The rest are their\u00a0 relatives & descendants.\n***\nFour dinosaurs, trees, flowers, birds and people in boats that are well detailed.\n***\n\nThis one with bands separating the sections and men riding on dinosaurs that are riding in boats,\u00a0 is from a different region in Sumatra. This one is also asymmetrical vertically. The horizontal mirror symmetry is created so that when the cloth is placed over an object as a cover, folded over along the horizontal axis, the picture appears correctly oriented in the\u00a0 upward direction on both sides.\u00a0\u00a0 From Komering.\n***\n\nAn amazing 4 color Tampan also from Kalianda.\n***\nAnother with a fantastic drawing also from a noble family\n\n***\nAnd this one (also 4 colors) from Kalianda that takes my breath away \u2026\u2026\u2026\n\nRare antique Museum quality Tampan ship cloth\n\nSize: 86 cm x 74 cm.\nA quick google image search will throw up several beautiful pieces, most in museums\u2026.. but none is as bewitching as this one \njm\nJune 2013\n\np..s studying the geometry in these and other weavings I wonder about the math contained in weavings\u2026.\nThe post Tampan \u2013 the bewitching extinct weaving of Lampung appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.