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Turban
Place of Origin: Indonesia, West Sumatra Province, Sumatra Island
Date: 1850-1950
Object Name: Costume
Materials: Wood and gold foil
Dimensions: H. 7 1/2 in x Diam. 7 in, H. 19 cm x Diam. 17.8 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the James and Elaine Connell Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Decorative Arts
Object Number: 2012.10
On Display: No
Culture: Minangkabau people

Description

Label: This headdress, carved of wood and covered with gold leaf, was meant to evoke the patterns of a folded textile. The Minangkabau peoples of West Sumatra have a long tradition of producing ornate and elegant textiles many of which were folded to form headdresses for both women and men. Wooden turbans such as this were still worn into the early 1970s but are rarely used today.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Hidden Gold: Mining its Meaning in Asian Art", Asian Art Museum, March 4, 2016-May 8, 2016
Additional Label:

This golden turban, created by the Minangkabau peoples of West Sumatra, bears intricate designs that evoke the ornate patterns typically appearing on textiles from the island, many of which were folded to form headdresses for both women and men. The type of cloth and manner of folding were distinctive to individual villages and markers of family identity and by extension social status.

This turban, however, is no textile, despite the fact that it features textile-based designs. Here, specific patterns were first carved into the wood. Then, the artist capitalized on the malleability of gold to press the designs onto the turban’s luminous surface, thus making this headgear relatively more permanent than one of folded cloth. Such turbans were typically worn by men on ceremonial occasions, their gold decoration underscoring the status and thus political leverage of the wearer.

(Label from Exhibition Hidden Gold: Mining Its Meaning in Asian Art)


Label: This headdress, carved of wood and covered with gold leaf, was meant to evoke the patterns of a folded textile. The Minangkabau peoples of West Sumatra have a long tradition of producing ornate and elegant textiles many of which were folded to form headdresses for both women and men. Wooden turbans such as this were still worn into the early 1970s but are rarely used today.
Exhibition History: "Hidden Gold: Mining its Meaning in Asian Art", Asian Art Museum, March 4, 2016-May 8, 2016
Expanded Label:

This golden turban, created by the Minangkabau peoples of West Sumatra, bears intricate designs that evoke the ornate patterns typically appearing on textiles from the island, many of which were folded to form headdresses for both women and men. The type of cloth and manner of folding were distinctive to individual villages and markers of family identity and by extension social status.

This turban, however, is no textile, despite the fact that it features textile-based designs. Here, specific patterns were first carved into the wood. Then, the artist capitalized on the malleability of gold to press the designs onto the turban’s luminous surface, thus making this headgear relatively more permanent than one of folded cloth. Such turbans were typically worn by men on ceremonial occasions, their gold decoration underscoring the status and thus political leverage of the wearer.

(Label from Exhibition Hidden Gold: Mining Its Meaning in Asian Art)