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1907 Long Toraja Ceremonial Wayang Cloth

Large complete panel depicting a procession of figures

Stencil printed on thick cotton.

All old examples of a similar type have been described as trade cloths traded out of India to Toraja.

Narrow and Long cloth used as an overhead canopy in processions

Figures appear to be from the Ramayan - with Lord Ram & his bow & Arrow. I specifically asked the experts in Toraja whether this could be from Bali - but they were emphatic that this is from Toraja and has been imported from India. 

This is almost symmetrical ... the figures on the left half are the same as that on the right half but the direction that the figures face remains unchanged. (In a symmetrical drawing, the direction would also change). 

This example is estimated to be from the 1970s.

628 cm x 46 cm

This textile is similar to the 'Ceremonial Cloth and Heirloom Textile with Row of Female Musicians' at the LACMA.

A field visit to Toraja in 2024 April offered confirmation that such cloths are used in ceremonies even today. (See WOVENSOULS on Instagram to view cultural videos) 

Not only are heirloom textiles that are hundreds of years old being used, even more recently made ones are required to replace the old textiles that are essential in the ceremonies. 

This is one of the younger cloths that has been used in ceremonies. Such cloths rarely come up for sale as families value their textiles. 

Not in perfect condition. Has holes and signs of wear. 


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