Ceremonial Garment (Geringsing)
Bali, Indonesian Archipelago
Early 20th Century, 61 x 185.5 cm (24 x 73 in.),
Cotton double-ikat
Roger S. Pratt Collection, Far Hills, NJ

This somber and understated textile is considered sacred, and is highly valued within the society from which it derives. The source of this textile, a fascinating village, Tenganan Pageringsingan, described as “hidden in the hills of east Bali,” is populated by a people who consider themselves descendants of the “original” Balinese. Its inhabitants are fiercely conservative and undoubtedly preserve many old customs and traditions. Geringsing are made exclusively in this village, although they are used elsewhere on the island for special ceremonial purposes. The yarns for weaving five identically patterned cloths are prepared in a multi-stage dyeing process that can take five years to complete.