Jambi was the centre of the ancient kingdom of Melayu and later came under the influence of the Sriwijayan Empire. It enjoyed an active trade with India, China and later the Muslim world.

Jambi songket often use a ship motif: kapal sanggat, ship run aground. The ship has been such an important means of transport for this area, both from overseas and into the interior.

Another motif has more recently been incorporated into Jambi cloth: angso duo, two geese. These geese refer to a myth where the king was searching for a new site for his palace. He allowed two geese to determine the site, by building where they settled, on the river bank of the lower Batanghari. The geese became the symbol of the city that rose on that site, Tanjung Jabung.

cf Cita Tenun Indonesia. “Tenun”, KITLV – Jakarta, Jakarta, 2010