Ceremonial Cloth (Pua Kumbu) Maker: Unknown

19th century

Indo-Pacific Art

Not on view

Iban weavers have created some of the most complex ikat patterns in Southeast Asia. Their ceremonial skirts and large cloths (pua) are essential in rituals. On these occasions, pua are spread on the ground to receive plates with offerings, and they are tied up in the shared spaces of Iban longhouses, the communal residences. In headhunting days, trophy heads were carried in textiles. The intricate pattern of the cloth here is named for the mythical tiger remaung. It is not a representation of the animal but a reference to the tiger’s spiritual power, and the abstract pattern would first have appeared to the weaver in a dream. The design was only to be woven by the most accomplished weavers.


Cotton; warp-faced plain weave, warp ikat; natural dyes


86 1/4 × 51 3/4 in. (219 × 131.5 cm)

Credit Line

Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971

Loan number



Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Heribert Amann, Cologne, Germany, by April 2008; sold to Thomas Jaffe, New York, April 2008 (promised gift to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.,from 2010)
  • Dr. Traude Gavin, "A Very Special Textile from Borneo at the Yale University Art Gallery," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2019), 50–51, fig. 2
  • Dr. Traude Gavin, The Women's Warpath: Iban Ritual Fabrics from Borneo (Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 1996), 41, no. 38, fig. 38
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