Indo-Pacific Art

Ritual Textile (Pua Kumbu)

early 20th century

Cotton; warp ikat; natural and synthetic dyes

75 9/16 × 36 5/8 in. (192 × 93 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore

Borneo is one of the world’s largest and most ecologically diverse islands. Much of it was covered with rainforest until widespread logging began in the late twentieth century. Politically it is divided among Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Contact with China and India goes back to the early centuries C.E., and the first European visitors found Malay, Indian, and Chinese traders already settled on the coast in the seventeenth century. The people of the interior are often collectively referred to as Dayak, although it is best to use more specific ethnic distinctions such as Kayan, Kenyah, and Ngaju. They have produced exceptional carvings and textiles. Large-scale sculptures were created to provide a protective function for a community or were made to commemorate an ancestor.

Made in Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia
Not on view
19th–20th century

Ada Small Moore, New York City, NY and Prides Crossing, MA, early 20th century; bequest to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1951.

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.