SONGKET AT BUMIAYU TEMPLE ARCA

SONGKET AT BUMIAYU TEMPLE ARCA

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This is a relic of the 8th century AD that allegedly wears a songket patterned cloth. This statue was found at the Archaeological Site of Bumiayu Temple, which is located on the downstream side of the Lematang River which empties into the Musi River, precisely in Tanah Abang District, Penukal Abab Lematang Ilir Regency, about 120 km west of Palembang City.

 

There are 3 statues wearing songket in this Hindu temple complex with the title of Syailendra, namely the statue of Shiva Mahadeva, and the other 2 are statues of figures suspected of being the embodiment of kings or kings at that time. These statues are the oldest evidence of the use & existence of songket cloth in Sumatra and the archipelago. Previously, a songket patterned cloth was also found on the wall reliefs of Mendut Temple which originated at the same time, namely the 8th century. Mendut Temple is approximately 4 km from Borobudur Temple, all of which are relics of the Syailendra Dynasty

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The songket motif on the statue at Bumiayu Temple is in the form of a rhombus with decorative foliage which is currently still found on the Palembang songket motif with the name Songket lepus. The two statues of figures wore songket vest tops which were also popular during the Palembang Darussalam Sultanate as men’s clothing for the nobility. From the use of motifs & vests, the 2 statues of these figures are strongly suspected to represent the king or important figures of the era.

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📖 Source of information: Purwanti, Retno., Sondang Siregar. 2016. The History of Songket Based on Archaeological Data. Archeology Center of Palembang. Siddhayatra’s Journal, Volume 21, No. 02, 97-106, November 2016

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