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Woman's skirt

Woman's skirt

  • Place of origin:

    Arakan State (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton damask and silk cloth of luntaya (interlocking tapestry weave)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This detail of a beautifully patterned cotton and silk wrap-skirt known as a
hta-mein, dating to before 1855, would have been worn on festive occasions by a fashionable Arakanese woman. It would have been worn overlapping slightly in the front revealing a portion of her leg as she walked. Typical of hta-mein, the centre silk panel is the focus of decorative interest and displays the unique horizontal wave patterned "100 shuttles" interlocking tapestry weave known in Burmese as acheik-luntaya in golden yellow, mid-green, red and white. From this flows a striped coral train the graceful management of which was an acquired skill. It would have been part of an ensemble when worn with an ein-gyi (fitted jacket) and yinzi (breast cloth).

The Arakanese, who inhabit the western coastal area of Burma, ruled their own kingdom until 1784 when they were conquered by the Burmese. In culture and dress they are very similar to the Burmese.

Physical description

Composed of three parts. A red cotton waistband (w.68.5 cm) joined to a strip of acheik (horizontal wave patterned) silk textile with checkered end borders of golden yellow, mid-green, red and white (w.63.5 cm.) to which is attached a separately woven pink silk train partly patterned with fine horizontal stripes in red, yellow and purple (w.45.5 cm.) These components are hand stitched together.

Place of Origin

Arakan State (made)


ca. 1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton damask and silk cloth of luntaya (interlocking tapestry weave)


Length: 175.3 cm, Width: 122 cm

Descriptive line

Burmese multi-coloured cotton and silk hta-mein. Konbaung Dynasty (1752-1885). ca. 1850. Acheik-luntaya patterned area.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Fraser-Lu, Sylvia. Handwoven Textiles of South-East Asia
Oxford University Press: 1988. 50 & 88p., ill.

Fraser-Lu, Sylvia Burmese Crafts: Past and Present
Oxford University Press: 1994. 262p., ill.

Production Note

Attributed to an Arakanese lady. Acquired by the India Museum in 1855.


Silk; Cotton


Weaving; Stitching


India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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