Textiles in the Exhibition<Previous Next>

t-shirt t-shirt detail

 

The tourism business in the city of Kuching (whose name is the Malay word for cat) takes full advantage of all opportunities to market “things Iban” to travelers.  Here is a cheap cotton t-shirt for a baby, printed with the image of three fetching kittens, each wearing an Iban headdress. The white kitten in the rice field hat at right (see close up) wears an Iban pua cloth around the shoulders. The other kittens sport headdresses that mark headhunting prowess, and noble status. These images are not taken seriously anywhere. But, the migration of pua cloth imagery to such a t-shirt is worth thinking about.