The most common of the Indonesian “ship cloths” are the tampan, which are small cloths, woven in plain weave of undyed cotton and decorated with supplementary weft yarns of dyed cotton or silk. This design shows a mirrored “Tree of life” pattern. Tampans’, were important in various ceremonies, and were particularly used during rituals associated with life transitions such as birth, circumcision, naming, initiation, marriage, and death. During these events, the tampans functioned as food wrappers, seat cloths, gifts, and ceremonial hangings.
Mattiebelle Stimson Gittinger, 1932-
Tampan Kalianda, plate 92
A study of the shipcloths of South Sumatra: Their design and usage
Ph.D paper, Columbia University, 1972