Puak Kumbuk or Pua kombu refers to a large blanket made with red dye (Morinda citrifolia). It is used as a decorative hanging during harvest ceremonies called Gawaii where it may be hung or used as the blanket upon which offerings are placed for the ancestors. The mordanting process to achieve the red colour requires many different plants from the forest and is still performed with a ritual.
A puak may be used to cover a person who is ill during a healing with a traditional doctor. The Dayak textiles have been highly regarded for their unique designs; many of which are from dreams giving them permission to weave the motifs. The central motif on this textile langai uwi is a particular species of rattan. The thorns of rattan are fierce and keep people at a distance. With this as a metaphor, this rattan is often hung over the door of a bilak or family home within a longhouse for protection against disturbances. The bandung betungkah cross motif is representative of a trader’ boat who bring salt, kerosene and other outside goods to the longhouses up rivers.
Warp ikat, commercial cotton, two panels sewn together to make a blanket, twisted fringe, natural dyes. Made in Sintang, Kalimantan, 2020.
220 x 108 cm
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