An image of Coffin cover with stylised Islamic calligraphy

Unknown Artist

Coffin cover with stylised Islamic calligraphy

Not on display
Further information

Large calligraphic batiks known as 'kerudung' (literally, 'shroud') function as covers for coffins during funerary rituals, as well as ceremonial hangings and banners. Men wear smaller examples wrapped around the head or draped over the shoulders.

Muslims believe that the written word is God's word and therefore calligraphy is considered one of the highest art forms. It decorates and enhances an object's significance. It also confers protection. A predominant motif on this cloth is calligraphy in the form of birds arranged around lozenges. The stylised inscriptions along the edge of the cloth are from the Qur'an and read 'There is no God, but God.'

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, Sept. 2013

Place of origin
Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
mid 20th century
cotton, dyes: batik
290.0 x 105.0 cm
Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2007
Accession number