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Printed and painted cotton fabric
VK5114-189
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This textile is an excellent example of an object which has travelled in distance and time during its lifespan. At the same time it has acquired several new meanings. It was produced in Northwest India as a commodity for export to Indonesia in the 18th century. Among the To Kaili people in Central Sulawesi it was classified a "precious cloth", not worn daily, but preserved as a family valuable and used as a ritual textile. Later on it was transferred to Finland and became part of the museum's collection. Now this item´s biography refers to the great Indian textile tradition, trade between India and Indonesia, the religious and social life among the To Kaili people in Sulawesi and the Finnish missionary work in Indonesia.

History of the Object
This Indian textile was acquired by a Finnish Salvation Army officer, Edvard Rosenlund (1895–1939), in Bora, Central Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia in 1922– 1928. Rosenlund worked in Central Sulawesi 1919–1928 and collected about 500 objects, took photos, made a film and wrote several newspaper articles about the local culture. According to Rosenlund "The most antique piece of cloth that I have been able to get hold of there. It has formerly been the property of the powerful prince of Sigi. Nowadays it represents capital. At great festivals they hang up such antique pieces of cloth under which the priestesses perform their dances. The price of this piece was earlier 7 slaves and 7 buffaloes. Acquired at Bora. Provenance unknown."

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Cotton 
Measurements
Width 92,5 - 94 cm Length 470 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
India; Northwest 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century - 19th Century 
Function
The cloth was preserved as a family valuable and used as a ritual textile in Central Sulawesi
Acquisition
Acquired by the National Museum of Finland from Edvard Rosenlund in 1930. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Text by Eija-Maija Kotilainen Photo Ritva Bäckman, 1991 Parpola, Marjatta. Textiles from Celebes and Sangir at the National Museum of Finland. In: Oceanic Studies, ed. by Jukka Siikala, Transactions of the Finnish Anthropological Society No. 11. Helsinki 1982. Eija-Maija Kotilainen, "When The Bones Are Left". A Study of the Material Culture of Central Sulawesi. The Finnish Anthropological Society No. 31. Helsinki 1992. 
Owner
State property, National Board of Antiquities, Finland 
Museum
Museum of Cultures, National Museum of Finland 
Credit line
 

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