Short jackets such as this example were worn by young, unmarried Kauer women together with a sarong. They are constructed from a rectangular piece of woven cotton cloth coloured with natural dyes.
This example is additionally woven throughout with threads wrapped with real gold
The front piece comprises separate panels embroidered with more thread wrapped with gold, and further decorated with metallic sequins.
The back panel is of black cotton woven with more gold thread and with sequins.
The many cowrie or nassa shells about the neck and collar and stitched to the back most probably are designed to express the hope that the wearer will have many children. The colour itself is of purple batik cotton and has more sequin decoration.
Click here to see an example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The example here is in very good condition. It is free of repairs, insect holes and tears. There are loose threads here and there.
Brinkgreve, F,. & R. Sulistianingsih (eds), Sumatra: Crossroads of Cultures, KITLV Press, 2009.
Gillow, J., Traditional Indonesian Textiles, Thames & Hudson, 1995.
Maxwell, R., Sari to Sarong: Five Hundred Years of Indians and Indonesian Textile Exchange, NGA, 2003.
Vanderstraete, A., Magie van de Vrouw: Weefsels en Sieraden uit de Gordel van Smaragd (The Magic of Women), Wereldmuseum, 2012.