1811 Antique Iban Wedding Skirt Beaded Band Benang Perak
Rare Noblewoman's wedding ceremonial skirt early 20th century with Silver Thread
The first remarkable feature of this textile is the fantastic pattern allover the skirt that incorporates figures of Iban women with their elaborate headdress into the pattern. The depiction appears to be of 4 women dancing in a circle around a central medallion that could be a fire.
The second remarkable feature is the use of Benang Perak or silver thread as a supplementary thread in the weaving to create the pattern.
And the third remarkable feature is the tasseled band of beads (manek) with human motifs to embellish the skirt.
Skirts like this are worn on festive and ceremonial occasions: birth, marriage, death, harvests, and strong spirit motifs such as this were restricted to those in the upper echelons of society.
Such valuable garments symbolise prosperity, fertility and abundance.
A prerogative of the ruling families, prestigious motifs include dragon-serpents, slaves and heirloom Indian trade cloth patterns.
Rare textile find!
Has signs of wear.
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).
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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