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Textile History in Stone

JONATHAN ZILBERG
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Textile History in Stone: The Case of the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita

This article hypothesizes that the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita, the Buddhist stone sculpture excavated at Candi Gumpung, part of the massive archaeological complex on the banks of the Batanghari river near the modern day city of Jambi, provides an accurate record of royal textiles worn in religious rituals in Sumatra in the 13th Century. To state the hypothesis more explicitly: the textiles, being rendered in some detail both in terms of structure, pattern, type and manner of use, refer to models in reality rather than to invented designs drawn from within the sculptors mind and experience. Yet while the data is perhaps compelling enough to demonstrate the plausibility and potential of the hypothesis, closer examination of the textile patterns complicates and in degree contradicts the hypothesis. In presenting evidence both for and against the hypothesis that this sculpture provides a record of textiles in stone, the article proposes that though some significant cultural and historical information is indeed provided it is more limited than one might initially assume. Thus the manner of the analytic almost scientific study attempted here has perhaps broader implications in terms of methodological concerns for studying similarly detailed sculptures in Indonesia and elsewhere. More generally however, besides arguing for the very close and critical study of such records as potentially useful historical data, the purpose of this article is simply to inspire a greater awareness of the archaeological and historical importance of the site of Muarajambi. KEYWORDS: Textile research, Buddhist statuary, Indonesian history and archaeology. SELOKO, VOL. 1, NO. 2, 2012 211

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Figure 1. Textile details on the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita (courtesy of Balai Penelitian Peninggalan Purbakala [BP3] Jambi).

Introduction
Though there is an extensive literature on Indonesian textiles, both general and specific,2 and though such historical records of ancient textiles in Hindu-Buddhist stone sculptures are often-enough commented upon as referred to below and in the companion forthcoming article on similar records in the collection in the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta,3 there is as of yet no article length analysis of the textiles depicted on any one particular sculpture. Nor for that matter has there been a systematic study of the overall record of textiles represented in stone sculpture.4
1. See J. Zilberg, Textile History in Stone II: The Specimens in the National Museum of Indonesia, Seloko: Jurnal Budaya, (forthcoming). 2. See J.Guy, Woven Cargoes: Indian Textiles in the East, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1998); L. Langewis and F. A. Wagner, Decorative Art in Indonesian Textiles, (Amsterdam: Van der Peet, 1964); J. Wisseman Christie, Epigraphic Data on Textiles in Java from the Ninth to the Fifteenth Centuries, M. Nabholz-Kartaschoff, R. Barnes and D. J. Stuart-Fox (eds.), Weaving Patterns of Life: Indonesian Textile Symposium 1991, (Basel: Museum of Ethnography, 1993), pp. 11-30. 3. Zilberg, Textile History.

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To begin with, it must be emphasized that no discussion of any potential symbolic meanings associated with particular designs, nor any comment upon the more generally sacred nature of such textiles assumedly relevant in the 13th Century context, is advanced here. The speculative aspects of such hypothetical discussion preclude any serious scholarly debate. Yet nevertheless, for those familiar with the literature on Asian textiles, it is a wellestablished fact that for much of the Indonesian archipelago there are deep and meaningful continuities in Indonesian textile traditions. Here specific patterns have carried particular meanings and textiles sometimes have a sacred aura associated with them through their use. Treasured across the generations as valuable heirlooms, ritually charged and intensely symbolic in cases, there is no corollary of this in India, many of these textiles being either of Indian origin, local versions of Indian textiles, or similar in some degree.5 It is equally well established that in the past, across the archipelago, there were sumptuary status bound rules regarding who could or could not wear particular patterns, colors and types of cloth. Though research shows this not to be the case in Jambi in the 19th Century and beyond,6 the same cannot necessarily be assumed for the 13th Century. It is more likely than not, in my view, that sumptuary rules applied in the Sumatran context at that time as they did in Java. Over time, with the eclipse of the
4. See J. Zilberg, Durable Traditions: Inspirational Textile Legacies in Stone in the National Museum of Indonesia, J. Zilberg (ed.), The International Conference on Traditional Textiles of Indonesia: Today and In The Future, (Jakarta: National Museum of Indonesia, 2007), pp. 52-84. Available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/37995477. 5. J. Dhamija, Woven Magic: The Affinity between Indian and Indonesian Textiles, (Jakarta: Dian Rakyat, 2002). 6. See F. Kerlogue, Interpreting Textiles as Medium of Communication: Cloth and Community in Malay Sumatra, Asian Studies Review, 24, (2000), pp. 335-48. Also see F. Kerlogue, Importing Identity: Textiles of Jambi (Sumatra) and the Indian Ocean Trade, R. Barnes (ed.), Textiles in Indian Ocean Societies, (London: Routledge Curzon, 2005), pp. 130-49.

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Buddhist and Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms and the centuries long profound Islamic transformation, the role of cloth in terms of prestige and power changed significantly and yet if status rules do not apply, wealth and power is clearly signaled in the number, type and display of a familys textiles on ritual occasions. Though there is little evidence one way or the other regarding sumptuary rules in that era there is some remarkable surviving evidence of the kind of textiles required to be worn while paying homage to the court as given further below. Nevertheless, to emphasis this, fact, generally speaking, in Sumatra and across the archipelago as a whole, textiles were and in many contexts still are spiritually charged heirlooms of the greatest local and inter-regional significance.7 The textiles represented on this particular sculpture naturally speak then directly to that heritage and all these issues. The challenge is to analyze and imagine how these said depictions of 13th Century textiles might fit into this larger historical picture and what kind of specific and useful data we can infer from them. Clearly we can discern their basic structures and some of the patterns including the border elements, how they were
7. See R. Barnes (ed.), Textiles in Indian Ocean; S. Brenner, The Domestication of Desire, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998); A. Buhler, Patola, A. Buhler, U. Ramseyer and N. Ramseyer-Gygi (eds.), Patola und Geringsing, (Basel: Museum fur Volkerkunde und Schweizerisches Museum fur Volskunde Basel, 1975), pp. 8-22; Guy, Woven Cargoes; H. Jessup, Motif and Meaning in Indonesian Textiles, Jane Purananda (ed.), Through the Thread of Time, (Bangkok: River Books, 2004), pp. 31-46; S. Kartiwa, The Social Functions of the Kain Songket Minangkabau, M. Gittinger (ed.), Indonesian Textiles: Irene Emory Roundtable on Museum Textiles 1979 Proceedings, (Washington, D.C.: The Textile Museum, 1979), pp. 5780; Kerlogue, Interpreting Textiles; Kerlogue, Importing Identity; R. Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong: Five Hundred Years of Indian and Indonesian Textile Exchange, (Melbourne: National Gallery of Australia, 2003); A. and J Summerfield, Walk in Splendor: Ceremonial Dress and the Minangkabau, The Fowler Museum of Cultural History Textile Series No. 4., (Los Angeles: University of California at Los Angeles/Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1999).

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worn and tied and in what combinations. In that, this article attempts a somewhat definitive analysis of the textiles represented on this sculpture and thus provides a methodological experiment of sorts.8 The analysis shows that contrary to the simple notion originally advanced in earlier versions of this article, the hypothesis that these are highly accurate records of textile patterns, they are in the main demonstrably not so. More correctly put, based on closer observation when the close-up photographs are enlarged, they are only apparently accurate depictions in some cases and in some part to some degree. In many cases, they are definitely not. Nevertheless, we do get a general sense of pattern perhaps through the creative minds tendency, perhaps natural, to imaginatively extrapolate form and structure from sufficient detail. Methodologically speaking then, one only comes to such contrary conclusion after more detailed sustained observation. This runs rather sharply up against the initial more casual visual impression one might gain on looking at the sculpture in the site museum. This is especially the case as one cannot easily study the rear of the sculpture because of how it has been positioned for protection in a corner. The Murarajambi Prajnaparamita sculpture presents a rather different case to the far more intricate and assumedly more accurate records of textile details rendered on the most refined sculptures from this period in Indonesian history kept in the National Museum.9 The expectations based on those cases and the subtle persuasive power of wishful thinking enhanced by the difficulty of access is thus curtailed. In the final analysis, as records
8. For a similarly rigorous approach to studying patterned information carved in stone in archeological context informing this analysis, see J. Zilberg, The Diquis Petroglyphs: Distribution, Archaeological Context and Iconographic Analysis, Fred Lange and Lynette Norr (eds.), Prehistoric Settlement Patterns of Costa Rica, Special Issue of The Steward Journal, (Urbana: Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982/83), pp. 387-406. 9. J. Zilberg, Textile History.

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of design, technique and mode of dress, though the initial argument for these images appears both logical and feasible, it turns out to be somewhat limited in terms of the accuracy of some of the patterns depicted. The original hypothesis is thus only partially substantiated as presented and shown below.

Five Questions, The Sculpture and The Context


When examining the textiles depicted on the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita, five inter-related questions amongst others might come to the mind of the inquisitive viewer. First, are these accurate representations of a range of textiles from the Sriwijayan period? Second, is it not obvious that this must have been how textiles were worn in ritual contexts at that time? Third, can we gain any information from these depictions about technique and material? Fourth, is it possible to make any inferences as regards which of these textiles represented could have been locally made or might have been prestige imports? Fifth, what might these details teach us about fashion and design more generally in that period? First, let us examine the sculpture as a totality and the archaeological and historical context in which it must have played an important role. Muarajambi is Southeast Asias largest and most threatened Buddhist temple complex. Candi Gumpung (where the Prajnaparamita was found) was a pontifical seat and principal monastery.10 It was a site of extraordinary importance in the Buddhist world particularly in the 13th Century and in that context this sculpture was a ritual focus in a major center of learning and prayer. The Prajnaparamita sculpture of Muarajambi, Goddess of Supreme
10.N. Reichle, Violence and Serenity: Late Buddhist Sculpture from Indonesia, (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007), pp. 231 note 43; S. Nagaraju, A Central Sumatran Metropolis at Muara Jambi and its Buddhist Connection: Some Reflections, L. K. Srinivasan and S. Nagaraju (eds.), Sri Nagabhinandanam: Dr. M.S. Nagaraja Roa Fetschrift, (Banaglore: Dr. M.S. Nagaraja Rao Felicitation Committee, 1993), pp. 721-60.

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Figure 2. Photograph showing the extent of the damage to the Muarajambi Prajnaparamitra (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

Wisdom in Mahayana Buddhism, was a symbolic focus for contemplating the Prajnaparamita sutras which date to the first century BCE. Such sculptures were used for rituals associated with the Tantric practice of the philosophy of the perfection of wisdom through the extinction of self-interest11 and in Indonesia, they are best known as representations symbolizing the posthumous deification of Queens.12 Recognized as one of the finer examples of Indonesian Buddhist sculpture, this specimen was discovered in 1978 and dated to the thirteenth or fourteenth Century according
11.See J. C. Huntington and D. Bangdel, The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art, (Columbus: Columbus Museum of Art, 2003), pp. 119, 122, 124-127; Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 55-56. 12.See J. Fontein, R. Soekmono and E. Sedyawati, The Sculpture of Indonesia, (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1990), pp. 160-61; J. Miksic, Introduction, F.M. Schnitger, Forgotten Kingdoms in Sumatra, (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. xii; Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 65-68.

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to both the context and formal stylistic criteria.13 The sculpture has received renewed attention in Natasha Reichles remarkable study Violence and Serenity: Late Buddhist Sculpture from Indonesia and more recently in the illustrations and discussion in the catalog and exhibition Sumatra: Crossroads of Cultures.14 Carved in pale andesite, the sculpture is typical of the aesthetic sensibility of the east Javanese Singasari period. Natasha Reichle judges it to be exquisite but notes appropriately that it is rather less finely carved than the Singasari Prajnaparamita sculpture kept in the National Museum of Indonesia. Following Reichle, this article illustrates that there is indeed significant variance here, specifically in the relative qualities of the depictions of textiles.15 While the sculpture has been dated to approximately 1300 on the basis of stylistic considerations and comparisons to similar sculptures from East Java a more accurate date and deeper discussion awaits.16 Some consider it to have been a royal gift sent to Sriwijaya, that is, made in Java. This is a logical enough notion considering how similar it is to the Singasari specimens. And similarly significantly, there is as of yet no identified Sumatran source of andesite. Nevertheless Reichle substantially adds to the position that it must be assumed to have been made locally until proven otherwise.17 Towards stronger positions on one side or the other, future research
13.See Boechari, Ritual Deposits of Candi Gumpung (Muara Jambi), SPAFA Consultative Workshop on Archaeological and Environmental Studies on Srivijaya, (Bangkok: SPAFA, 1985), pp. 229-43; F.M. Schnitger, Forgotten Kingdoms, p. 15. 14.See F. Brinkgreve and R. Sulistianinsgsih, Sumatra: Crossroads of Cultures, (Leiden: KITLV, 2009); E.S. Hardiati, Hindu-Buddhist Sculptures from Sumatra II: Treasures from Bumiayu and Provincial Museums, F. Brinkgreve and R. Sulistianingsih (eds.), Sumatra: Crossroads of Cultures, (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2009), pp. 71-84; Reichle, Violence and Serenity. 15.Reichle, Violence and Serenity, p. 67. 16.Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 51-84. 17.Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 67, 69, 233.

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would do well to attend closely to a comparative petrographic18 and stylistic analysis of all the stone sculpture found to date at the site and elsewhere in Sumatra and East Java. Relevant data clarifying such issues will no doubt be discovered during future surveys and excavations. In the meantime, despite severe damage to certain parts of the sculpture, much of the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita is in excellent conditionexcepting that the head is missing as are the lower arms. Jan Fontein notes that the arms have survived though he does not note where they are kept19 and as for the head, it is rumored to be in Malaysia.20 While the right arm is missing the upper parts, the hands and digits remain though fractured and the left hand is in relatively pristine condition. In the delicately rendered ritualized gesture of the mudra, the ample swell of the bare breasts contrasting elegantly with the elaborate necklace, the sculpture reveals an intense sensitivity. This sensitivity to form and attention to detail is not however consistently applied to the entire work as for instance might be said for the area of the lower abdomen. As regards the highly variable representation of the textiles themselves it is an excellent example of variance. This in and of itself poses significant questions slightly beyond the immediate concerns of this paper. For example, did more than one sculptor work on this piece and at different times and places? This point is noted here in advance because it adds further complications as to whether this sculpture was made in east Java or locally and by whom. It also complicates the question of whether the textiles represented would have been worn by a Queen of Singasari in a ritual at Muarajambi never mind if any aspects of their presenta18.See G. Stoops, Petrography of the Rocks Used for Zimbabwean Stone Sculpture, Zimbabwe: Legacies of Stone: Past and Present, Vol. 11, (Tervuren: Royal Museum for Central Africa, 1997), pp. 59-70. 19.Fontein, Soekmono and Sedyawati, The Sculpture of Indonesia, p. 160. 20.Reichle, Violence and Serenity, p. 231, note 43.

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tion are contextually accurate. Though it is unlikely that such questions can ever be answered, this sculpture nevertheless still seems to offer considerable information on ritual, power, politics from that periodand above all, for the purposes of this articletextile history. Most significantly of all, as the Kingdoms of East Java, Bali and Sriwijaya had a welldocumented history of both conflict and intimate even formative connection throughout the Hindu Buddhist period dating back to the 9th Century and before, it is important not to isolate the analysis of this sculpture from a broader regional historical context. Keeping such specific details in mind and the broader issues at hand regarding this sculpture let us recapitulate the focus of this analysis in this larger context. Today in Indonesia, with Earl Drakes recent and more locally accessible study Gayatri Rajapatni: Perempuan di Balik Kejayaan Majapahit,21 the subject of the Prajnaparamita sculptures, specifically who they represented is once again of intense if limited public and academic interest.22 None of that however is the issue here. The textiles are. Regardless of whatever future research may establish as to where and when the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita was made and for whose deification or not,23 the discussion that follows can only be merely preliminary because of the relatively nascent state of archaeological, epigraphic and ceramic research at the site itself and in Sumatra more generally.24 In that limited context of the
21.E. Drake, Gayatri Rajapatni: Perempuan di Balik Kejayaan Majapahit, (Yogyakarta: Ombak, 2012). 22.T. Kurniasari, A Woman Forgotten, The Jakarta Post, April 29, 2012; Miksic, Introduction. 23.Hardiati, Hindu-Buddhist, p. 78; Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 54-55. 24.V. Degroot, N. Chutiwongs and E. Hardiati, Early History and Archaeology of Sumatra: An overview, F. Brinkgreve and R. Sulistianingsih (eds.), Sumatra, pp. 41-51; E. E. McKinnon, Malayu Jambi: Interlocal and International Trade (11th to 13th Century), Seminar Sejarah Melayu Kuno, December 7-8, 1992, pp. 129-141; Miksic,

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later phases (11th-14th Centuries) of Hindu-Buddhist Indonesian history,25 as well as for the earlier periods,26 there are surprisingly useful epigraphic and historical materials at hand for Jambi as considered in the last part of the article.27 To return to the hypothesis then and the five questions: Has the sculptor not skillfully and faithfully rendered a large range of textiles and jewelry on the Muarajambi Prajnparamita? Have not the textiles been, for the most part, so carefully depictedespecially the manner in which they were wornas to beg the question of whether the artist was deliberately rendering them accurately? If the sculptor was not concerned with accuracy and symbolism, why are the accoutrements such as the jewelry, the twisted strings of beads (upavita) and the hanging unkals also given such careful attention? Why the elaborate concern with rendering so carefully the pleasing details of the pleated cloths, the manner of tying the sashes and bows? Keeping the articles simple hypothesis in mind then, alongside the five guiding questions, let us examine the sculpture more closely. Do we or do we not have here an accurate record of the type of royal textiles used in rituals and at court at Muarajambi in the 13th Century Sriwijayan era? Is this not an accurate record of how such textiles were worn?

Introduction; Triganga, History of Indic Writing and Scripts in Sumatra, Brinkgreve and Sulistianingsih (eds.), Sumatra, pp. 8595. 25.Hardiati, Hindu-Buddhist, p. 72; E. Sedyawati, Ganesa Statuary of the Kadiri and Singhasari Periods: A Study of Art History, (Leiden: KITLV Press, 1994). 26.P. Manguin, A. Mani and G. Wade (eds.), Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia: Reflections on Cross-Cultural Exchange, (Singapore: ISEAS, 2012). 27.Christie, Epigraphic Data; Boechari, Ritual Deposits of Candi Gumpung (Muara Jambi), SPAFA Consultative Workshop on Archaeological and Environmental Studies on Srivijaya, (Bangkok: SPAFA, 1985), pp. 229-43.

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The Data
To focus on the most obvious detail that rarely fails to attract attention, consider the waist cloth. It is composed of a classic Asian Buddhist period pattern consisting of non-overlapping metrically arranged circles with diamonds formed by the arcs of the circles. The design will be familiar to anyone with a familiarity with the trade of high status printed and resist dyed patola cloth imported from India from later centuries and also woven locally into even more highly valued textiles. For centuries before and during the Islamic era and well into the colonial era, wearing this particular pattern was the prerogative of royalty. It signified sacred elite status and not surprisingly textiles with this design are well documented as having been some of the most sacred and expensive heirloom textiles in Indonesia. All the Prajnaparamitas (as well as the lost Manjusri figure formerly in Berlin and now rumored to be in Moscow) wear waist cloths decorated with this pattern of metrically arranged circles.

Figure 3. The main cloth patterns as depicted on the front of the Prajnaparamita (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

It is hardly controversial to state here that the archaeological record confirms the well documented ethnographic and historical
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phenomenon in which particular patterns and textile types had unique status and value in Indonesia and throughout the HinduBuddhist world. Neither is it remotely controversial to reiterate that the literature repeatedly refers to the important of this particular pattern in the Indonesian and Asian art historical and archaeological record. Why then object to the idea that these are historically accurate representations of cloth? What kind of evidence can be advanced which would convince the skeptic? Better yet, what kind of counter-arguments and deconstruction of what follows would logically lead the impartial observer to discount this articles hypothesis. For the sake of rigor then, the publication of the following photographs will allow textile specialists to examine each of these textiles in detail and check the accuracy of the analysis that follows.28 For example, consider the designs composing the main patterns and the border elements for each cloth. Consider how they are worn. They are so clearly depicted in some cases that one could transpose some of them into line drawings for more detailed academic analysis of style. Even the manner in which they are worn is so accurately portrayed that we can reconstruct the dressing process. Thus beyond the purely academic sphere, for those with more applied interests, these images could be used to recreate the cloths as part of the ongoing national textile revival movement.29 But that useful consequence of this analysis and hypothesis aside, let us scrutinize this recordfor it turns out that all is not as it at first seems. Several very different pieces of cloth are represented on this sculpture. Of special interest for this discussion are the main waist cloth with the circular patterns as introduced above, the three very different waist belts, one of which drapes over both the left
28.In the digital edition of this article one is able to zoom in to study these details. 29.See Y. Ismartono, Weave World Redux, Tempo (Outreach), January 29, 2012, pp. 1-8.

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and right legs ending in terminal assumedly embroidered flowers. There appears to be a plain undecorated inner-most pleated or folded cloth, a special instance as will be discussed, and there are two belt-like back sashes one transverse and the other tied around the upper body. The mode of tying up the outer waist cloth with cloth and/or with a metal ring is clearly depicted. Finally, the outer

Figure 4. Close up of the main lower waistcloth with the border designs clearly visible (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

Figure 5. The three lower waist belts (courtesy of BP3 Jambi). 224 SELOKO, VOL. 1, NO. 2, 2012

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waist cloth is tied at the back in an elaborate and simply stunning ceremonial bow. Figures 1 through 3 provide images of the range of textiles on the front of the sculpture. Figures 4 through 9 provide details of these textiles and those on the back of the sculpture. As noted earlier, not all the textiles on this sculpture are given equally detailed attention. Nevertheless, they each provide useful data as initially provided here towards a more systematic and technical analysis in the future. Beginning with the main body of the waistcloth and the dominant motif of the circle itself in Figure 4, in this instance we find a relatively simple if highly stylized geometric flower in the center. The flower has four major and four minor petals and crenelated oriole just within the outer edge of the inner circle. There are two concentric circles outside of this inner flower, both defined by plain double borders. The innermost of these has a repeating design which is clear enough to be discerned in terms of its essential structure with some effort. The outermost is simply composed of an empty field defined along the inside and outside perimeter with even narrower empty bands. The waist cloths star pattern produced between the non-overlapping circle has unique in fill elements, bold and yet delicate geometric designs with the geometric design. They are metrical in both their detailed execution as is the general lay out of the pattern field. Considering that they are not composed of the flowing foliate lines found on the other textiles, it is not improbable that this particular cloth is of a different nature to the other textiles represented here. The outer waist cloth and three belts shown in Figure 5 seem to vary from the embroidered to batik-like materials assumedly cloths known then as tulis warna or tulis emas, tulis meaning drawn, warna meaning color and emas referring to gold. Having been duly posed, the hypothesis and data set up for critique, such questions are now a matter of open debate for those authorities who might care to comment. Consider again for instance the details of edges of the main textile as given in Figure 4. The edge of this main waist cloth has a border composed of three bands, the inner
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being ladder like, the middle having a classic Melayu foliate pattern (equally Javanese of Balinese for that matter) and the outermost edge being composed of a narrow simple edging. As for the inner diamond formed by the outer arcs of the meeting circles, the basic structural elements within the field are discernible but not the fine detail of the constituent patterns. Assuming the hypothesis holds, those patterns would have been observable in the original cloth whether the patterns and details themselves had been woven, painted, applied, embroidered or dyed. However, that level of detail was it seems precluded by the limiting nature of the quality of the stone. Being of a relatively fine grain it is however still too coarse to allow for such intricacy. This is very different in the case of the stone used to carve the Singasari Prajnaparamita in the National Museum and others amongst the finest specimens with the most intricate textile records housed there.30 Consider then three belts in Figure 5. In observing and comparing the patterns on each belt, what we have here is a record of the general dimensions of such belts and how they were worn to what aesthetic effect. We also have a small sample of the basic diversity of cloth belt design and in what combinations they were used. They each tell us something about style being so different. Each is internally stylistically self-consistent adding to the hypothesis that they are accurate depictions. However they each vary in level of detail depicted, the top with its repeating fleur de lis like pattern quite clear, the middle with its repeating foliate design similarly clear, this being the belt that crosses over both the right and left legs. It is even flipped over the reveal the execution of its underside as can be seen in Figure 6. However the third and lower-most waist belt is unclearly depicted. One cannot discern the patterns even though one gets a general sense for a pattern. In fact, the more one studies these photographs and enlarges them to study the details the more inconsistencies and problems
30.J. Zilberg, Textile History.

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Figure 6. The hanging belt with the flower (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

Figure 7. The poorly executed back diagonal strap and mid-waist belt (courtesy of BP3 Jambi). SELOKO, VOL. 1, NO. 2, 2012 227

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one will notice. Sometimes the decorative field is incomplete or absent. Sometimes the effect is to suggest rather than to accurately depict. In cases, decisions seem to have been made to not complete the design in order to create a more pleasing overall effect. Or more simply perhaps, maybe the challenge was either beyond the artists capacity or not possible considering the slightly coarse nature of this andesite. Note then the plain folds of perhaps pleated cloth in the lower center between and below her legs. It is actually represented as a continuation of the same main waist cloth that enfolds her thighs. Thus if this was an accurate depiction, in the truest sense, this liberty of not demonstrating this continuity of pattern would not have been taken. Or perhaps I am just simply splitting hairs at this point in an effort towards methodological rigor and falsifiability of the hypothesis. Nevertheless, I raise it by way of emphasis as my initial impression was that this represented a different cloth, presumable a plain white cloth. In my imagination this would have been important as in the historical record this type of cloth had special significance and status. Fortunately on closer examination I realized that this was not the case. Turning to the back of the sculpture and the types of cloth depicted there more of this and other problems are to be found. In Figure 7 for instance, there are several clear examples of differently patterned cloth, some of which naturally wrap around the front of the sculpture. Though the structural nature of the cloths are clearly conveyed in the hanging folds of the cloth draped over her should at the top left of the photograph and in both the horizontal and transverse belt, the details are not accurate. Either the drape was plain or it was not. In the case of the belts, the horizontal belt has single outer edging bands and a pattern which can be basically understood but only partially. In the transverse case, the belt has broader outer bands with narrower inner bands defining the main repeating diamond shaped pattern field. Again, the diamond-like shapes are generally discernible as are the leaf and bud type patterns within them, but not clearly enough to
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reproduce the pattern accurately were one to try. Technically speaking, one could hypothesize that they are either tulis warna or tulis emas (prada) because of the fluidity and flow of the designs and because of the historical records that exist as noted in the last part of this article. Similarly, but on far less solid ground, one could propose that they might even have been batik or some fore-runner of batik in light of the fact that the early history of batik is still a matter of contention. They might equally have been embroidered. Indeed, it would be interesting to compare how textile experts, both academic and non-academic, might approach making such determinations if any. Regardless, we still have useful basic data here namely the material form and the design. But again, the simple issue at hand is this: Are these accurate depictions of 13th Century textiles? Or are these mere examples of creative artistic license the sculptor used to decorate the space representing each of the textiles that would have been worn in rituals conducted at Muarajambi? Take then the lovely belt with the hanging flower on the end as shown earlier in Figure 6. Does it not provide a strong case for being a representation of a woven and embroidered textile? Is it not a realistic representation of an ancient textile considering that the sculptor has gone so far as to sensitively show the belt in reverse as well? Why would the sculptor go to so much trouble as to record the underside of the belt if the purpose was not to record the model in faithful detail? Surely the artists had a highly developed aesthetic sensibility for appreciating such textiles and their fine design? In closely examining each of these representations of textiles in stone in this way, perhaps experts in the matter might come to comment upon and expand these observations. Ideally I hope that if they do so they will pose related questions towards future research which would either confirm or contest this articles hypothesis. Towards that let us continue by further examining the reverse side of the sculpture. Whatever its shortcomings in terms of accuSELOKO, VOL. 1, NO. 2, 2012 229

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Figure 8. A ring or a tie on a floral tulis warna or tulis emas? (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

Figure 9. Rear view detail of the Prajnaparamita of Muarajambi and the bow (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

racy, it still seems to present us with an extraordinary rich case study of textiles, not only for design and pattern detail in some cases, but particularly for how they were tied and folded to adorn
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and enhance the bodys form and the overall aesthetic effect and fashion of the time. First, to return to emphasize the data which contradict the thesis, consider the diagonal strap and belt which are treated in a surprisingly cursory fashion. Though their structural function is well established, the treatment of the pattern in these cases is the best instance for arguing that the sculptor has simply applied some basic imaginary designs to the textile field. In addition, considering that these designs are so poorly rendered, it begs the question as to whether a different sculptor subsequently added these details or if the artist simply ran out of time. In either scenario, the fact is that there is significant information at hand that any analysis of this sculpture would do well to attend to, particularly as regards textile history. Consider then Figure 8. As for the manner in which the main waist floral textile has been tied and its splendidly expressive hanging folds, one might ask if the sculptor is representing a metal ring or rather a tie in the cloth? Perhaps it could be either. Yet we do have here a lovely representation of a floral and foliate pattern. On closer examination though of both this part of this textile and the bow, it begins to seem that the artist is strategically filling in the field for decorative purposes, so much so that the size of the flowers and the way they are spaced on the cloth and in relation to the edges are so irregular as to make this a relative certainty. Consider for instance the upper-most curving edge of the textile on her lower bare back. We do not find that anywhere in the Indonesian textile record as far as I know. Similarly, I do not think that textiles are ever woven in this way, if it is even possible without cutting and folding such a curve. If any evidence partially disproves the hypothesis, it might be this kind of detail. Interestingly then, at first, it is the sheer exuberance of the representation of textiles on the rear of this sculpture that inspires one to think this is a special case, a potentially perfect case study for testing this hypothesis. Unfortunately, that certainty begins to break down under closer observation of the data.31
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Figure 10: Detail of upper-most part of the inner waistcloth (courtesy of BP3 Jambi).

Herein, it is not only the design fields, how the cloths hang and are folded and or tied, are worn, but the very manner of the representation of the patterns themselves which may provide technical information. For instance, examine the top center part of the bow, the fleur de lis type element. Might the nature of how this design is so clearly situated either bolster the critique that this is all mere decoration? Or alternatively one could ask this: Would the courtier who dressed the Queen not have paid excessive attention to the importance of creating the bow with the placement of pattern in mind such that the fold and bow would emphasize formal symbolic elements in the cloth for visual effect? Surely some readers will prefer the latter for its fit with what we know about
31.For clarity on what constitutes scientific method, see David Goodstein, Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011); and the review of it by J. Zilberg in Leonardo, 44, 5, (2011), pp. 450-52, available at: www. leonardo.info/reviews/jan2011/goodstein_zilberg.php.

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Indonesian culture and textile history. Yet to be scientific and skeptical, the prominently situated elements of the designs in the bow seem slightly forced to my own eyes. Considering the coarse execution of the back sash and band noted above, one cannot discount the possibility that there is a potential problem here. Nevertheless, the sculptor could also have been emphasizing the detail for effect considering the attention necessarily given to folding and tying the bow and the extra attention and skill the depiction would have required on the artists part. Focusing again on Figures 8 and 9, consider the folds and the manner of how the cloths hang. Take the negative instances in which it seems that the artist might well have simply made up the design. The flowers and foliate patterns are not regular, neither in their detail nor in size, nor perhaps do they repeat in the way they might be expected to be in woven, painted, embroidered or otherwise decorated textiles. We get a strong sense for the details and the patterns, in some case it is very clear and yet sometimes it is not. Sometimes, no effort to decorate the field is made at all. Yet might it be possible to trace the details that are provided for the cloth that has been folded to create this bow and extrapolate to the whole, to unfold it as it were? Barring that creative method for now, if you study this bow closely, you will observe that each fold includes clearly identified border design elements of the cloth. Do you gain the impression that these are realistic portrayals of designs on an actual cloth? Or might you come to the conclusion instead that the artist has simply provided different decorative details to each field, sometimes repeating or varying and adding imaginary elements and sometimes not? For instance, some of the flowers are more similar and in other instances they are not? And lastly, though it would seem aberrant from what we know, why should the original patterns not have been this irregular as long as they were not woven? The questions thus multiply and yet the essential issues remain. Take for special instance the circular patterned main waistSELOKO, VOL. 1, NO. 2, 2012 233

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cloth which is easy enough to reproduce in relatively fine detail in a line drawing, excluding the smallest details of the patterns which by and large have to be deductively elaborated. Does not the preponderance of evidence provided in the image establish sufficient reason for the logical consistency and basis of the hypothesis that these are relatively accurate records of ancient cloth? Is the hypothesis not parsimonious and self-critical enough and does it not explain the data in a sufficiently compelling if somewhat unelaborated fashion to make it intellectually useful enough to establish this hypothesis as feasible? Or should the hypothesis simply be rejected as methodologically, empirically and theoretically unworkable? In this resplendent bow, the belts and the folds, the different layers of assumedly fabulously expensive cloth, in all the detail and the whole effect, do we not have a potentially intimate record of something made and worn in the past? Why discount the possibility that these might well have been relatively accurate depictions of some of the textiles. If they were, they would have been important components in the elaborate ritual theatre at the center of the pre-Islamic Indonesian kingdoms. The data then, assuming it has any such potential value, provides us with at least an imaginary glimpse of the spectacle which constituted and announced the sophistication and power of the Hindu-Buddhist kings and queens who ruled Sumatra and Java in the 13th Century and before.32

The Debates Over Inferring Information about Technique from the Sculptural Record
For anthropologists interested in religion and symbolism, and in this particular case the conjoined issues power, gender, cloth and archaeology in Indonesia,33 the statue of the Jambi Prajnapara32.See C. Geertz, Centers, Kings and Charisma: Reflections on the Symbolics of Power, J. Ben David and T. N. Clark (eds.), Culture and Its Creators, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1977), pp. 150-71.

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mita, and the other equally useful specimens for exploring this issue that are to be found in Sumatra and Java, are unquestionably significant. They can even be considered to be iconic for what they offer to an appreciation of Indonesian textile history. In some cases, from the general structure of the design and the nature of the pattern field it appears logical that we can infer certain information about technique. For instance, because of the nature of the pattern field, the designs, and how the textiles hang and fold it is relatively certain that none of the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita textiles appear to be songket. Very different is the case for both of the textiles represented on the Bhairava sculpture from Padang Roco in West Sumatra in the National Museum. That will be explored separately in the forthcoming companion article. It is simply mentioned here because that case seemingly very clearly depicts songket with the point being that each of these major Sumatran sculptures also need to be considered in comparative historical perspective. It is possible that the details to be found on these sculptures might ultimately provide evidence of both continuities and ruptures of certain designs and traditions regardless of our current evolving state of knowledge about the time depth of the songket tradition?34 The same situation holds for any discussion of the history of batik and its precursors and tulis warna and tulis emas. In fact, should we discard the record in stone as irrelevant because we cannot prove it is accurate, we merely impoverish the field. Future such research will also have to consider the Cham and Chinese and other increasingly specifiable connections with India and China,35 especially the textile record in stone at Angkor
33.See J. Schneider, The Anthropology of Cloth, Annual Review of Anthropology, 16, (1987), pp. 409-448. 34.M. Uchino, Socio-Cultural History of Palembang Songket, Indonesia and the Malay World, 33, 96, (2005), pp. 205-223. 35.E. Guillon, The Representation of Textiles in Cham Sculptures, Jane Purananda (ed.), Through the Thread of Time, (Bangkok: River Books,

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Wat in Cambodia.36 In that systematically comparative and historical research, these sculptures provide all manner of potentially useful information about Asian textile history and this is a wellestablished minor tradition by this point. For instance, Wisseman Christie has written that the textiles recorded on the Indonesian Hindu-Buddhist sculptures show significant change in the later 13th and 14th centuries in terms of the designs on the fabrics, that they became increasingly dense, elaborate and finely drawn.37 Wisseman Christie also notes that it seems unlikely that these were produced by double ikat techniques as the earliest references to double ikat (gringsing) in the Javanese literature do not occur until the mid-fourteenth century.38 The author also adds that it appears that not all of the textiles represented on the statuary were intended to depict Indian imports and that some of them appear to be Javanese interpretations. Unfortunately Wisseman Christie does not specify which sculptures and which particular textiles this refers to but does provide us with clues as to how to proceed. For instance, Wisseman Christie does however argue that the Javanese patterns are denser, have narrower borders which lack the Indian border motifs and more realistically and frequently use floral and vegetal elements. Clearly this all applies equally to the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita textiles which may well be depictions of what later became known as Malay silk and gold brocades as considered below.
2004), pp. 134-51; H. W. Woodward, A Chinese Silk Depicted at Candi Sewu, K. L. Hutterer (ed.), Economic Exchange and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia, 1979). 36.G. Green, Textiles at the Khmer Court, Angkor: Origins, Innovations and Continuities, Jane Purananda, Through the Thread of Time, (Bangkok: River Books, 2004), pp. 10-25. 37.Christie, Epigraphic Data. 38.Christie, Epigraphic Data, p.17; T. Pigeaud, Java in the Fourteenth Century: A Study in Cultural History, 5 Vols, (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1960), pp. 1, 16.

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The intriguing task now before us is to study the textiles depicted on these sculptures at this level of detail keeping these debates in mind and particularly deferring to and engaging Fiona Kerlogues authoritative and extensive work on Jambi textile traditions. In doing so, the symbolism of flowers might prove useful as will be considering questions of technique and origin. For instance, are any of the divergent aesthetic distinctions Wisseman Christie details evidenced here? Is the issue of differentiating cloth of Indian origin a purely academic point and impossible to resolve with this data contrary to Wisseman Christies assertions? What can we hypothesize about the textiles on the Muarajambi sculpture if anything? Any connection to the East Javanese Singasari sculptures aside, are not some of the strongest cases for a locally produced Sumatran textile those to be found the waist cloth decorated by skulls on the Bhairava sculpture from Padang Roco because of the explicit Tantric imagery and songket-like nature.39 Certainly, the freer and elegant floral patterns on the fabrics on the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita as shown in Figures 8 and 9 appear as Javanese or Sumatran for that matter as Indic. And to re-emphasize the point made at the start of this section, the material of the main bow itself is certainly not songket both because of the nonmetric elegant flowing nature of the patterns and as that material simply cannot be folded and arranged in this way. Above all, Kerlogues caution on the later sociology of textiles is critical to highlight. As she writes:
There is no evidence that sumptuary laws such as those which operated in the courts of central Java in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were ever used in Jambi to prohibit the use of any particular designs outside aristocratic circles.40

On the other there is no evidence to the contrary either, nor to the historical depth of the difference. But we do know that in

39.See Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 172, 180, figs. 6,5 and 6.13. 40.Kerlogue, Interpreting Textiles, p. 336.

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Jambi in 642, those who came to pay homage to the king had to wear Javanese dress. As the translated account records:
On various occasions I have heard it from the King himself that he thinks the Javanese garb and tongue the excellentest (sic) and pleasantest (sic) in the world so far as he knows; consequently he has commanded all the mountain folk in Kamang, Tanjung, Kota and the other regions who in the time of his ancestors and up to this present day have following their pleasure gone dressed in Malay fashion that henceforth when they are at Tanah Pilih (the seat of the pangeran) and come to subat him, that is to say to do homage, they must appear in Javanese dress.41

No doubt then, as early as the 7th Century, a person of any means at all in Jambi or Palembang would have been required to purchase Javanese textiles in order to pay homage to the king. Yet it is also worth keeping in mind the stark contemporary differences between Jambi and elsewhere in Indonesia as Kerlogue also points out that there are no particular significances given to patterns or colors in Jambi in the modern period. As limited is the record, fundamental changes have surely taken place since the 13th Century and especially subsequently with the mass conversion to Islam. All that being now foregrounded let us continue the discussion of the issue of technique and material by returning to the general issues of imports and the royal prerogatives and symbolism accorded to particular types of cloth and designs in that period. John Guy cogently argues that the cloths under discussion here, including assumedly those represented on the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita, could not have been patola. He bases this on the logic that the historical records show that Indian silk patolas only became available centuries later42 when they became important royal tribute gifts in the 18th and 19th centuries.43 However Maxwell
41.D. Hanafiah, Pulau Berhala, Orang Kaya Itam dan Sigunjai Sijatu: Mitos Ideologi dan Politik Jambi, Seminar Sejarah Melayu Kuno, Jambi, December 7-8, 1992., p. 408. 42.Guy, Woven Cargoes, pp. 18. 43.Guy, Woven Cargoes, pp. 72.

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writes in Sari to Sarong that high status silk and gold textiles had been intimately tied to the rise of royal court centers throughout the Indonesian region from as early as the first millennium AD.44 Indeed, Maxwell adds significant detail to the difficulty of distinguishing between imported fabrics and those produced locally. In fact, he proposes that the textiles depicted on the statuary in the Indonesian National Museum and elsewhere are Malay brocades. Specifically he refers to them as kain songket lima produced in an international textile form that transcended the border of principalities and echoed the trans-Indonesian penchant for imported luxury fabrics.45 As Maxwell writes:
The designs displayed on these silk and gold textiles demonstrate many international influences.... Malay brocades are filled with schematic patterns and floral nuances more attune with the much admired decorative arts of Mughal India. Framed within decorative border meanders and enclosed at each end by elaborate designs, often incorporating triangular patterns, the field patterns are a reflection of the cosmopolitan sources available for designers of luxury textiles and the multicultural flavour of Indonesian city states. The elaborate end designs are a decorative feature when the long rectangular textile is wrapped around the lower torso, falling in ornamental folds down the front of the body. This is the most prominent garment to be observed on the sculpture of classical Hindu and Buddhist Indonesia. The garments of, and the way they are worn by, male and female deities, and also royal couples, are indistinguishable and often precisely matching in design and patterns.46

Moreover he adds that these garments were not just the preferred fabric for state ceremonials: they provided a means for visualizing the complex status systems that supported court ritual.47 Furthermore, as I have emphasized through italicizing the last sentences of Maxwells discussion, it is fundamentally significant that the very same type of garments, with matching designs and
44.R. Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong, p. 72. 45.Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong, pp. 73 and 75. 46.Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong, p. 73. Itals. mine. 47.Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong, p. 73.

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patterns, are found on all of the royal couples and deities in the collection in the National Museum.48 In this context, the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita is no exception. The debate remains an active one and has been on-going in the literature for many years. According to some authors songket was introduced into the region early in the 14th Century by Arab traders from Gujarat.49 Yet is it possible, contrary to the argument made here earlier, that some of these garments were indeed songkets of some form, for Wisseman Christie details that songket in fact can be traced back three hundred years previously to the early second millennium.50 Nevertheless the only technique mentioned in the relevant charters and literature so far studied was tulis warna meaning drawing in color.51 As noted above however, it seems unlikely because of the way they are worn, the way they intimately follow the contours of the body, the way they fold and hang, in some instances because of the nature of the borders and always because of the delicate curves of line in the design, despite the circles being metrically arranged. Aside from these important technicalities towards debating the exact nature of these textiles, this ancient prerogative of royal elites to use cloths with particular designs is a well described phenomenon in the literature whether or not one can discern on these sculptures a patola from a batik or other type of cloth inspired by a patola. Local textiles were also understood to have been continually inspired by Indian imports though more recent authors critique the Indi-centric view arguing for equally strong Chinese and other influences. With all this in mind, for those new to this literature, they might find the Muarajambi sculpture to present a
48.Zilberg, Durable Traditions. 49.J. Dhamija, Woven Magic: The Affinity between Indian and Indonesian Textiles, (Jakarta: Dian Rakyat, 2002), p. 82; S. Kartiwa, The Social Functions, pp. 61-62. 50.Christie, Epigraphic Data. 51.Christie, Epigraphic Data, p. 18.

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remarkable focus for thinking about Indonesian textile history in terms of relations between Java and Sumatra. Consider Wisseman Christies observation:
It is surely significant that some of the batik patterns of central Java which were restricted to members of the royal family can be recognized as being borrowed or adapted from Indian textile: for example, those called kawangpicus, jajakusama and cakarmelik are all patolainspired while sembagenhuk is based on resistdyed Indian imports....52

The questions then are these: Can we apply Wisseman Christies observations to Sumatra keeping in mind the inter-twined historical connections between the kingdoms? And how far back we can trace this type of phenomenon? Can we ever make any real progress towards identifying which of the cloths represented on these sculptures were made of what, where and how, never mind what the designs may have meant? Even though we could never prove such hypotheses, is not the task of attempting to answer these questions an interesting issue to ponder? If nothing else, doing so serves as an exercise in looking far more closely at the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita than might otherwise have been the case. The intertwined history of the range of textile forms including tulis warna and tulis emas, songket and batik, cindhe (chintz), geringsing and patola will continue to remain a matter of lively debate and research. For instance, it is virtually certain that for Sumatra, as for Java and elsewhere in the archipelago, patola was an important elite trade good at least in the late Hindu-Buddhist period. We can assume this as a 15th Century Javanese text Wangbang Wideya recorded that some of the cloth worn by royalty was patawala, namely patola from Gujarati origin.53 And speaking to this longevity, the Portuguese records show that it was imported from the 16th Century and especially in the 17th and 18th Centuries
52.Christie, Epigraphic Data, p. 19. 53.Guy, Woven Cargoes, p. 63.

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while today patola heirlooms continue to be used in rituals across the archipelago.54 When visitors to Muarajambi who see the Prajnaparamita, and who are interested in Indonesian textiles, it is these kind of issues and this literature that comes to mind, as they stand in front of the sculpture and appreciate the finesse of the carving. Staying focused on the literature then, Maxwell emphasizes that the development of batik seems more closely connected to Indian chintz. Regardless of these difficult issues surrounding what amount to durable memory banks what is certain and of great importance if somewhat differently in both Sumatra and Java is this:
[T]he exclusivity of the designs, however, is firmly located routed in a history of the control of luxury trade items. Hence these patterns, like others derived from Indian treasures, are worn only by members of the Javanese aristocracy. In the central principalities in particular, it was the silk patola that had been conspicuously worn in the royal courtas skirts and sashes by princes and princesses alike. The same applied to locally made batik exhibiting trade cloth patterns.55

Maxwell concludes that the most effective way of securing the power and majesty of trade cloth imagery was to transfer symbols and motifs onto local textiles and that these local transformations were so successful that in the end they eclipsed the Indian textiles even in the international trade.56 Accordingly, the waist cloths on the Prajnaparamita could well have been exemplary instances of local genius.57 The same would apply to the waistcloth and hanging sash on the Bhairava from Padang Roco upstream on the Batanghari river keeping in mind that the Sriwijaya kingdom moved upstream from Muarajambi and recalling
54.Barnes, Textiles in Indian Ocean; Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong. 55.Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong, p. 145. 56.Maxwell, From Sari to Sarong, p. 116. 57.See F. D. K. Bosch, The Problem of the Hindu Colonization of Indonesia, Selected Studies in Indonesian Archaeology, (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1961), pp. 1-22.

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that King Adityawarman had originally been Queen Rajapatnis General at the Singasari Court, and that he had first conquered Bali before moving to Sumatra.58 Finally, as Fiona Kerlogue has specifically written about this subject of adaptation in her contribution Importing Identity: Indian Textiles in Jambi, Sumatra in Textiles in Indian Ocean Societies,59 engagement with that work will be critical for any future debate that might ensue from this article. Towards conclusion then, consider again each of the textiles illustrated here and above all consider the care that has been taken in the intricate manner of creating the bow at the back of the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita sculpture. This amazing bow is in itself evidence of the laborious preparation for ceremonial events, of the exquisite attention to sumptuary detail in rituals performed at this site. And fascinatingly enough, the ethnographic record as given by Kerlogue clearly reveals this cultural emphasis of attention to folding continuing in the context of ritual in Jambi and Sumatra and across the archipelago to this day.60 As material assemblages, the textiles and jewelry, were part and parcel of the ritual and politics of power, intense expressions of structures of aesthetic sentiment and feeling, just as today textiles remain of essential importance in lifes transformational rituals such as at pre-nuptial ceremonies, weddings and deaths. Whether or not there are any deep syncretisms at work or not, it is not illogical think and by no means controversial to argue that the textiles depicted on the Prajnaparamita of Muarajambi were
58.See U. Kozok and E. van Reijn, Adityawarman: Three Inscriptions of the Sumatran King of all Supreme Kings, Indonesia and the Malay World, 38, 110, (2010), pp. 135-58; Reichle, Violence and Serenity. 59.Kerlogue, Importing Identity. Also see Ratna Dewi, Batik Jambi: Sejarah, Identitas, dan Kelenturan Budaya, Seloko, 1, 1, (2011), pp. 175-189. 60.See Kerlogue, Interpreting Textiles, pp. 335-48; F. Kerlogue, Memory and Material Culture: A Case Study from Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia and the Malay World, 39, 113, (2011), pp. 89-101.

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sacred items made for special personages and used on the most symbolic occasions. This is not only because this sculpture represents either a person at the pinnacle of the social and spiritual order and/or a core philosophical concept but because of the elemental sacred value of the textiles themselves. Does all this not explain why they have been so accurately representedor at least in some cases in some degree? Or was this all for the sake of mere decorative effect? All qualifications aside, I find it more plausible that not than what we have here is an indirect physical record not only of the visual exuberance of one important aspect of art, religion and power of the time but also of the backstage preparation for such events in the dressing of royal personages.

Conclusion
Perfect Wisdom spreads her radiance... and is worthy of worship.... In her we find refuge; her works are most excellent, she brings us safely under the wings of enlightenment. She brings light to the blind, that all fears and calamities may be dispelled... and she scatters the gloom and darkness of delusion. She leads those who have gone astray to the right path. She is omniscience; without beginning or end is Perfect Wisdom... she turns the Wheel of the Law.61

Of the five key questions posed in this articles introduction, two are particularly important because of their implications, that is, the consequence. The others also raise issues that could test the potential methodological rigor of such an analysis. But the outstanding questions in my own mind remains these: Can one make educated guesses as to what kinds of cloths are depicted on this sculpture? Can we reasonably infer any useful information regarding techniques of manufacture? Certainly authors such as Wisseman Christie, Guy and Maxwell amongst others cited above would I imagine believe that we can do so. In that productive context, other questions arise
61.Reichle, Violence and Serenity, pp. 56.

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which are even more difficult to answer such as these: Which of these textiles might have been imported from India or Java as prestige goods? Which might have been made locally, that is which might have been the most refined examples of local expertise, perhaps based on Indian design? Might there have even been twoway traffic which has left as of yet no trace in the historical record? Might not Atisha who studied at Muarajambi for 12 years (trained earlier at Nalanda in India and later revived the Tibetan Buddhist tradition after his departure from Sumatra), taken such textiles with him to India and Tibet on his return just prior to the Chola invasions?62 Who knows what kind of information might emerge as the research on inter-Asian connections concerning Muarajambi develops in the years to come and as this archaeological site and the related sites in the Batanghari river settlement system becomes better understood.63 More simply for now, is there not good reason to have depicted these textiles as accurately as possible barring the limitations of the quality of the stone, the nature of the tools and the finesse of the sculptor? Is it not logical from an anthropological perspective of local cultural beliefs regarding sacred objects and power, that representing them in some measure might not merely have been a matter of mere abstract representation as we see it today but one of power and efficacy, symbolism and religion? Not only is all this is well enough known in the literature on textiles and textile patterns in Indonesia in specific and for Asia in general, but this particular use of the bow can still be found today whether or not there is any historical connection.64 Certainly the main waistcloth
62.See A. Chattopadhyaya, Atisha and Tibet, (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1999); R. Sherburne, The Complete Works of Atisa Sri Dipamkara Jnana, Jo-Bo-Rje: The Lamp for the Path, Commentary, and Twenty-Five Key Texts, (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 2000). 63.See S. Nagaraju, A Central Sumatran Metropolis, pp. 721-60; Mckinnon, Malayu Jambi, pp. 129-141. 64.F. Wardani, H. M. Krishna and N. Chituwongs, Hindu Buddhist Sculptures from Sumatra I: Collection of the National Museum

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is decorated with a pattern of which the original symbolism might be contested but which certainly retained its royal prerogative and aura across the subsequent centuries particularly in Javanese courts and court traditions. And then there are very different but even more simple questions about the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita that remain such as these: Who commissioned it? When? Whose deification did it honor? And who made it and where? Does the preponderance of comparative evidence point to it having been sculpted in East Java? But all that aside, and assuming that this is a sculpture celebrating deification, which it might not actually be, all we know for now is that whoever she was, if she was a person rather than an abstract concept merely embodied as a woman, the sculpture would seem to provide a detailed record of textiles of that time either in Jambi or in east Java and likely in both places. In the end, of the five questions asked at the outset, only one is really important because of its implications, the consequence. The outstanding question remains then this: Can one make an educated guess as to what kinds of cloths are depicted on such sculptures? Or posed slightly differently: Can we potentially infer any useful information regarding techniques of manufacture? Other types of related questions even more difficult to answer naturally follow. For instance: Which of these textiles might have been imported as prestige goods? Which might have been made locally? Which might have been Indian imports and which might have been the most refined examples of local expertise, and perhaps based on Indian design? Might there have even been twoway traffic which has left no trace in the historical record? Was there not good reason to have depicted these textiles as accurately as possible barring the limitations of the quality of the

(Jakarta), Brinkgreve and Sulistianingsih (eds.), Sumatra, pp. 5369; Barnes, Textiles in Indian Ocean; Kerlogue, Interpreting Textiles; Kerlogue, Memory and Material Culture.

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stone, the nature of the tools and the finesse of the sculptor? Is it not logical from an anthropological perspective of local cultural beliefs regarding sacred objects and power, that representing them and all the details would not have been a matter of mere abstract representation as we see it today but one of power and efficacy, symbolism and religion? Not only is all this well enough known in the literature on textiles and textile patterns in Indonesia in specific and for Asia in general, but this particular use of the bow can still be found today whether or not there is any historical connection.65 In the final analysis then, unfortunately the conclusions that we can draw regarding this record of ancient textiles in stone are by and large somewhat superficially descriptive and functional. This runs contrary to my initial impressions though it excludes perhaps the conclusions that might be able to be drawn as regards the more intricately carved parts of this sculpture. There, in terms of techniques and types of materials represented, I ask you then: Could not the waist cloth with the circles represented on the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita have been gilded silk brocade as we know from written historical records that these were popular in Jambi in the 13th Century?66 Of the other cloths, do not some appear to be batik (or a fore-runner of batik), or tulis emas or tulis warna? As for the belt with the hanging flowers on the ends, does it not seem to have been embroidered? Perhaps, having thus provided a focused discussion on this aspect of the Muarajambi Prajnaparamita, future research by textile specialists will be able to debate such questions so as to make more substantive conclusions as to whether or not these might be accurate and useful records of ancient textiles.[S]

65.Wardani, Krishna and Chituwongs, Hindu Buddhist Sculptures; Barnes, Textiles in Indian Ocean; Kerlogue, Interpreting Textiles; Kerlogue Memory and Material Culture. 66.Uchino, Socio-Cultural History, p. 206.

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