Ceremonial cloth (pua, pua kumbu)

Kantu Kayak, West Kalimantan
British colonial rule

Object Place: Sarawak, Borneo (Malaysia)


75 x 178 cm (29 1/2 x 70 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton, natural dyes; warp-faced plain weave, warp yarn-resist dyed (ikat), discontinuous supplementary weft patterning.

Not On View


Textiles and Fashion Arts



Reddish-brown and natural ecru rectangular cotton cloth with twisted warp yarn fringe at each crosswise end. The main designs elements, created by ikat technique, are of abstract plant and reptilian forms, including earrings (mamuli), and row of narrow triangular shapes at each crosswise border. There is a narrow band of yellow and black discontinuous supplementary weft patterning at the base of the fringe.

Pua, which are used to define a ritual space, are designed mainly to be hung rather than to be worn.


van Kerckhoff Collection purchased by MFA on July 17, 1930
Transferred from the Department of Asiatic Art

Credit Line

Maria Antoinette Evans Fund