Spectacular Motifs on an Antique Beaded Iban Wedding Skirt Panel for Kain Manek
Spectacular Beads with an unusual coating that has a mother-of-pearl type of shiny gloss on the surface, with high reflective properties making the true colors difficult to capture in photographs. Even the black appears a bit grey in the pictures of the whole textile - so please follow the colors on the close-ups for the real colors.
The green beads used sparingly are different and have no gloss whatsoever that is usually seen in all glass beads.
Features dragon-serpents and two pairs of tropical birds
The weight of the single panel is 950 grams - nearly 1 kilo!
For a panel that is only 70cm x 41cm the glass beads are heavy!
Probably meant for a Noblewoman's wedding ceremonial skirt [kain manik]
Worn on ceremonial occasions by members of the local elite, the valuable garments symbolise prosperity, fertility and abundance. People believe that the more beads displayed, the greater the rice harvest will be.
A prerogative of the ruling families, prestigious motifs include dragon-serpents, slaves and heirloom Indian trade cloth patterns.
REFERENCES 1. "Hornbill and Dragon" focusing on the material culture of Borneo's tribes.
2. "The Traditional Costume of Sabah" The book has photos and drawings showing the costumes worn by seven of Sabah's tribes, including the Dusun and Maloh (Sabah is located at the northernmost tip of Borneo).
MUSEUM EXAMPLES: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user.Signs of this life lived heartily may be present on the piece in the form of stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections.Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect. More photos of such imperfections will be provided on request.
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