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Loan Object

Ceremonial Cloth (Pua Kumbu, Buah Remaung)

19th century

Cotton; warp ikat; natural dyes

219 × 132 cm
Promised gift of Thomas Jaffe, B.A. 1971
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.
Made in Baleh area, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
Not on view
19th century

Ex-collection: Heribert Amann, Cologne, Germany (acquired from him 2008-04-01). Seller: Amann.


Dr. Traude Gavin, The Women’s Warpath: Iban Ritual Fabrics from Borneo (Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 1996), 41, no. 38, fig. 38.

Dr. Traude Gavin, “A Very Special Textile from Borneo at the Yale University Art Gallery,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2019): 51, fig. 2.

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 such records is ongoing.