Fine and rare Toraja, Sulawesi seko mandi (funeral shroud) possibly from Seko village. The Torajans have elaborate and often excessive burial rites (depending on the wealth or status) of the deceased and death does not have the grim connotations as it does in the West, the bodies are disinterred once a year washed, dressed and walked around the village. This piece has the classic sekong pattern consisting of interlocking hooks and has been interpreted as interlocking arms welcoming the dead into the afterlife by their ancestors. In pristine original condition (perfect apart from some gaps in the weave noted in last enlargement) this was originally bought in Rantepao, Sulawesi 1989 and dates from 1950 to 1960. The weave is loose and composed of all natural dyes and handspun cotton and is quite heavy and soft. W: 127cm/50in and 178cm/70in excluding fringe.