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 Post subject: Chocolates with nuts
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:49 am 

Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
I may have to recant on the chocolates. They melt in the heat so it may have been a tin of biscuits with nuts. For sure it is not a batik and is not dyed with blood unless the weaver accidently cut her finger!
I also have a selendang (scarf) with foreign influence. The motif is a fountain in a garden. Two Western women in long dresses are seated on opposite sides of the base of the fountain holding hands. The upper part of the fountain has two heads spouting water into a bowl. Two more female figures stand on opposite sides facing the fountain and playing some sort of flute or recorder like instrument. The background is almost black, an overdye of indigo and Morinda red. The figures are in a light buff with red accents. It has a PATOLA RATU (queens patola) motif in the center typical of the Melolo District of Sumba.
I bought the piece from Sofyan, a Chinese dealer from Wangapu, the main port of Sumba. He lived in Bali and controlled the massive flow of Sabunese textiles coming to Bali in the old days. He was moving several hundred pieces a month for a number of years until Sabu more or less ran dry. If Fuzzy's sarong is from Sabu it probably went through his hands.
He said that my piece was made by a weaver in Melolo, Sumba who also made the local gin. She was his aunt or something and he said that he used to stay at her house sometimes as a child. He said the motif was copied from imported lace hung around the mosquito canopy of the bed and that he remembered seeing it as a child. We were pretty good friends and I got a lot of my great Sabu and Rainjua textiles from him. I always felt that he was a good, honest and truthful guy with me and other Westerners he delt with, unlike so many of the other scamming, tell you anything to get your money dealers.
I also heard that Western motifs were copied from bath towels used by the missionaries on Christian influenced islands. And the famous Sabu Rose motif may have come from this source. Tea tins may also be another source of English influenced motifs as opposed to the earler, Dutch influenced motifs such as rampant lions or coat of arms heraldic insignia from coins,flags, banners etc.
Here in Japan I was recedtly given a tin of cookies with the famous HELLO KITTY logo and character on it. I wonder what Indonesian weavers could do with that? Hello Kitty sarongs, gettem while they last!
Best regards, MAC

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