This textile of dyed and sewn silk is sometimes called a Lamba, a garment worn by men and women in Madagascar. The dyes used are believed to be aniline, an organic compound, which can produce the maroon, purple, green, cerise and gold stripes.
This design features two stripes of unbleached natural color silk sewn alongside three stripes of dyed silk. There is a fine border along the edges and knotted fringe on two ends. This is an example of an object that plays a fundamental role in daily life and is used, in many cases, to bury the deceased.
To see photos of daily life in Madagascar click here!
Penn Museum Object #78-2-4.
See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database.