Fragment of Mawa' or Ma'a (Sacred Heirloom Textile)

Art Institute of Chicago

About the work

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Textiles such as this fragment were made in Gujarat, India for Indonesian consumers. An ornamental pattern runs throughout the cloth and features a seated man surrounded by three smaller figures and a domesticated bird. Its creation dates to the fifteenth century because of its chemical makeup and the inclusion of the Jain sage's protruding eye. The fragment is considered to be a rare find today though it was not uncommon for Indonesian families to preserve such textiles for use down through the generations.

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