SongketTraditional Court Dress
Songket is a supplementary weft technique, the motif being created in the base weave during weaving. The pattern is defined by 300 extra heddles. Each of these lifts only those warp threads under which the supplementary weft must pass at a given point in the design. As weaving progresses, the pattern heddle in use changes and the design develops. This is the most difficult of all songket patterns to weave as the mirror images of the wayang figures needs to be precise. Paired songket are worn by both sexes as wedding attire or during tooth filing rituals.
This beautiful-all natural dyed songket textile illustrates an early scene from the Ramayana where Rama and his brother Laksmana are hunting with bows and arrows in the forest, in search of wild pigs. The flora and fauna of the forest are depicted in a gorgeous range of natural dyed colours, with some trees fanning outwards to shade the two protagonists. Birds can be seen flying between treetops, while four-legged creatures graze in front of the brothers.
Since arriving in Indonesia around the ninth century, stories like the Ramayana also serve as a source of moral and spiritual guidance. The duality of good versus evil, expressed by Rama, Laksmana and Sinta as personifications of goodness, refinement, loyalty and self-sacrifice pitted against Rawana, the coarse demon king, has particular resonance within Balinese cultural values and its belief system.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Supplementary weft patterning, two panels sewn together, silk threads used as base with cotton threads as patterning, natural dyes. Made in Bali, 2020.
194 x 103 cm / 76.5 x 40.5 in