Apr. 1st, 2010

frangipani: old map of Southeast Asia (Nusantara)
[personal profile] frangipani
Item is a square piece of brightly-coloured, woven fabric, measuring about 1 m². Based on the geometric motifs and the colours (black, red, yellow and white) the fabric was identified as kain dastar commonly made by the Bajau and Irranun (also known as Iranun or Illanun). Given that a prominent motif of the woven patterns is that of horses, it is likely that it was moven for or by a Bajau person.

The extraction of samples for testing was unexpectedly delayed when it was discovered that the fabric is impervious to metal scalpels used in our laboratory. Vigorous experiments based on the hypotheses of our researchers (some conducted, regrettably, without supervision) also reveal that the fabric is fireproof and acidproof. Kain dastar is commonly utilised for headgear (podong) by the Bajau -- that there was an apparent necessity for one that is near-indestructible begs the question as to the circumstances under which it was created and its actual practical function.

Thus far we have unable to ascertain either the age of the item or the fibre used to produce it. A request for the purchase of synthetic diamond scalpel blades has been forwarded to our financial department.

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October 2010

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