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Material Culture: Apsara Arts of Asia

Material Culture: Apsara Arts of Asia
Saturday, June 8th '19 – Saturday, July 20th '19
The Galleries at Moore

Presenting "The Magnificent Textiles of Sumatra," an exhibition of textiles that will be featured in Material Culture's October 26-27, 2019 auction. Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world and the second largest of Indonesia. It stands above all other islands in terms of its wealth of textile arts and amazing variety of textile designs.  This variety arises from the many diverse ethnic groups that inhabit the island—more than 50 different languages are spoken on Sumatra—as well as from the flow of foreign influences over time due to Sumatra’s strategic position along historic trade routes. Over many centuries, Sumatra has been especially influenced by Arab, Indian and Chinese cultures. The variety of ethnicities and international influences on Sumatra has led to the development of a magnificent variety of textile traditions with many different patterns and production techniques. While trade enabled cultural exchange, it also brought great wealth to the island that resulted in the evolution of social and political hierarchies that used textiles to distinguish themselves.  Over the centuries, textiles in Sumatra have served as threads of identity, reflecting the region, wealth, status, sex as well as age group of the wearer. They have also played a key role as valuable exchange goods at all levels of society.  

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