Indonesia, Borneo, West Kalimantan, Maloh people, ca. 19th century CE. A stunning beaded jacket presenting abstract spirit motifs delineated with glass beads of golden yellow, sea green, scarlet red, caramel brown, sky blue, black, and white hues on two front panels as well as one large back panel - all with a decorative fringe of translucent green beads flanked by multicolored upper and lower passages with metal discoid bead danglers at the lower ends as well as a decorative border comprised of linear bands and zigzag patterns surrounding the spirit motif panels. The panels are sewn onto an autumnal orange-red cotton fabric with a striated blue on beige lining. There are also two buttons with colorful beaded tassels for fastening the jacket. Size: 19.75" L x 17" W (50.2 cm x 43.2 cm)
The Maloh peoples wore jackets like this one on special occasions that marked milestones such as birth, marriage, harvests, and death. Clothing with spirit motifs like those depicted here were reserved for those of the upper classes in their society.
See a similar Maloh Dayak beaded jacket (albeit with anthropomorphic figures) in the Art Institute Chicago collection (2002.932).
Provenance: private Nevada, USA collection; ex-Nelson Tan collection
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Some stains on the lining and darkening to areas of the red fabric. A few tassels missing from one of the buttons; loops for buttons need to be repaired. Beaded panels are in excellent condition.