| Ritual banner or headcloth [sarita]

Sa'dan Toraja people
Sa'dan Toraja district, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Ritual banner or headcloth [sarita] 19th century
cotton, pigments
726.0 (h) x 25.0 (w) cm
Acquired through gift and purchase from the Collection of Robert J Holmgren and Anita E Spertus, New York 2000
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2000.712


Now hung as floating banners at ceremonies, the long narrow magic cloths [sarita] previously served as sashes and headcloths. This unusual sarita acts as a sampler of the designs and motifs found on locally made Toraja ma’a textiles. Amid schematic trees and buffalo horn patterns, small human figures and village scenes are depicted. Fishponds and ploughing buffalo, houses and granaries, domestic fowl and pigs, horses and deer, and even a cameo of figures in a boat appear in stark linear drawings.

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