Ceremonial cloth (pua, pua kumbu)

Indonesian, West Kalimantan, Kantu
British colonial rule

Object Place: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia


Overall: 193 x 86 cm (76 x 33 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Textiles and Fashion Arts



Reddish-brown (kombu), natural ecru and black rectangular cloth with twisted warp fringe at each crosswise end. The main design elements, created by the warp ikat technique, are of a central field of interlocking, stylized anthropomorphic and reptilian motifs. There is a border of repeating triangular motifs and narrow stripes of red, black, yellow and natural ecru along each selvedge and a crosswise border of pointed stylized trees or plants with a narrow band of red, yellow, light blue and natural ecru supplementary weft pattering at the base of the fringe at each end. The cloth is made up of two lengths hand stitched together down the center.

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


Purchased by MFA on September 8, 1927

Credit Line

Frederick Brown Fund