tribaltextiles.info

It is currently Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:32 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
I hope to introduce the reader to the Saribas style and tradition as portrayed by the weavings of Sendi Ketit, who was known as Indai Gumbek (mother of Gumbek) to her contemporaries. She was born in 1892 and passed away aged 82 in 1974.

She lived in Stambak Ulu, a stream that flowed into the Layar river, which was one of the two main tributaries of the Saribas river. The Saribas river basin is in the southern region of Sarawak, a state in Malaysia on the island of Borneo.

Attached are three blankets and a ceremonial loin-cloth front flap. (The first three pieces have never been published before and make their 'debut appearance' here.) The fourth piece is a well-known blanket that has appeared in Edric Ong's book, 'Pua: Iban Weavings of Sarawak'.

I welcome the reader's comments, questions and thoughts.

Thank you.

Vernon


PS. Pamela, I've exceeded the size limits. Help! [I've edited down any images which were wider than 600 px but, at the moment, have not reduced the file size of the images. Pamela]


Attachments:
File comment: SENDI KETIT
sendiketit.jpg
sendiketit.jpg [ 157.58 KiB | Viewed 7928 times ]
File comment: FRONT FLAP OF A CEREMONIAL LOIN-CLOTH. COMMERCIAL YARN AND FINE GOLD THREADS.
tanda sirat.JPG
tanda sirat.JPG [ 154.16 KiB | Viewed 7928 times ]
File comment: COMMERCIALLY COLOURED YARN ON SELVEDGES. NATURAL VEGETABLE DYES ON MILLSPUN YARN FOR WARP PANELS.

213cm by 110cm

SK010.JPG
SK010.JPG [ 114.33 KiB | Viewed 7928 times ]
File comment: COMMERCIALLY COLOURED YARN ON SELVEDGES. NATURAL VEGETABLE DYES ON MILLSPUN YARN FOR WARP PANELS.

202cm by 103cm

SK012.JPG
SK012.JPG [ 112.16 KiB | Viewed 7928 times ]
File comment: COMMERCIALLY COLOURED YARN ON SELVEDGES. NATURAL VEGETABLE DYES ON MILLSPUN YARN FOR WARP PANELS.

210cm by 108cm

SK015.jpg
SK015.jpg [ 102.3 KiB | Viewed 7928 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
The Saribas pua kumbu : http://vernonkeditjolly.blogspot.com/2009/07/definitive-classical-pua-kumbu.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
Although the appreciation of the pua kumbu is by taking a lingering and unhurried look at the blanket in its entirety and contemplating its composition and how each composite is put together to form the whole, the trained Iban eye would inevitably settle and gaze on the central pattern. It is here that the name and spiritual significance of the blanket are found.

The critical Saribas eye would further look at the careful construction of coils and tendrils and 'measure' the lines and overall use of space.

An important aesthetic value is the counterpoint of elegant curves on very straight lines.


Attachments:
File comment: Heavenly Hosts
SK010 main.JPG
SK010 main.JPG [ 160.36 KiB | Viewed 7923 times ]
File comment: Spiritual Palms
SK012 main.JPG
SK012 main.JPG [ 149.61 KiB | Viewed 7922 times ]
File comment: The Great Unseen
SK015 main.jpg
SK015 main.jpg [ 141.85 KiB | Viewed 7922 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
One of the most important criteria of a well constructed blanket is its rich and deep 'burgundy' colour. The term in Iban for such a colour is 'mansau' or 'ripe'.


Attachments:
mansau_w.jpg
mansau_w.jpg [ 71.91 KiB | Viewed 7916 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
The blue of indigo (called tarum in Iban) should be used sparingly and only as accents and highlights.

It was a weaver's secret how she would colour certain folds of the warp blue and leave the same parts of the other folds uncoloured.


Attachments:
tarum.JPG
tarum.JPG [ 165.46 KiB | Viewed 7915 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
A weaver's true worth is measured by the 'tightness' of her coils, the 'straightness' of her lines, the 'slope' of her curves and ultimately the intricacy of her embellishments against a 'canvass' of deep maroon.

She has to master three techniques; the kebat (tie: precision tying is needed to execute perfect lines and curves), the mengkudu (dye: absolute control of temperature and chemicals) and the tenun (backstrap tension weave: inconsistent tension will result in uneven warping/'stretching' of the yarn, causing lines to bend or break).


Attachments:
embellishments_w.jpg
embellishments_w.jpg [ 79.18 KiB | Viewed 7914 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
The collector sees six deers.

But the Iban sees a doe with its fawn trampling the head of the serpent in a garden where the tree of knowledge grows while heavenly beings watch in awe.

A dynamic illustration; a surprising shift from conventional motifs to very expressive and graphic representations. What was the weaver's statement? Is this a contradiction or a blurred blending of pantheons and belief systems, the old and the new? Or was she quietly endorsing an old concept using new symbols?


Attachments:
doe_and_fawn_w.jpg
doe_and_fawn_w.jpg [ 76.09 KiB | Viewed 7908 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
Sendi, seated far right, at the baptism of her grandson, Albert Rumpang, at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore. Pre WW2.


Attachments:
st.andrews cathedral singapore.jpg
st.andrews cathedral singapore.jpg [ 189.46 KiB | Viewed 7903 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
Six hooks with suspended lamps?

The language of coils and thorns is a language shrouded from the uninitiated. Only weavers speak this language, and only silently through their fingers. The initiated eye sees a woven rattan basket filled with the very essence of fertility - a human trophy head. The ultimate 'seed'.

The Saribas woman weaves not just threads but also profound philosophies and secret stories, legends and lessons. She is an historian, a magician, a storyteller and a priest.


Attachments:
igi_w.jpg
igi_w.jpg [ 101.13 KiB | Viewed 7893 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
If you were to stare at this image long enough, you might just be transported to another realm of consciouness; a transcendental experience. And if that were to happen, then the weaver would have accomplished her magic.

A weaver is also a captor, and that is why she is much respected by her peers.


Attachments:
berasok.JPG
berasok.JPG [ 76.48 KiB | Viewed 7894 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
Her art is not finished unless she weaves the metal of the gods, the fire of heaven.

She no longer caresses perishable cotton but immutable and eternal gold. Now she may rest.


Attachments:
mas_w.jpg
mas_w.jpg [ 84.72 KiB | Viewed 7892 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Vernon-
What extraordinary images! And so nicely complimented by your poetic commentary. These are truly works of art, but in a cultural context as you so eloquently share with us, they seem to transcend even that! They are rich with meaning, visual beauty and "magic". I am totally in awe of the skill and sensitivity required to create such beautiful compositions. Thank you so much for sharing these, and all the previous material with us!

_________________
Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:50 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
I came onto the thread quite early on as Vernon was posting - and was enthrawled!

When I saw the 3 pua which Vernon posted first, my initial thought was of how very intensely and finely 'filled' each pua was and just how amazing that was when considering that all the design was first created by ikat. I was then fascinated by Vernon's description of the key qualities which a weaver must show including 'ultimately the intricacy of her embellishments against a 'canvass' of deep maroon.' Thank you so much for taking us so carefully through the key qualities on which a weaver is judged.

Equally interesting was your illumination of what can be 'seen' in each pua both to the Iban and the uninitiated non-Iban collector. Fascinating!

Question. We see Sendi in Singapore before WWII. Did she weave in Singapore? Was she visiting or was she living in Singapore full time? Did the family leave before the Japanese came or afterwards? Were the pua and loincloth woven before the Singapore photo or afterwards?

These are stunning pieces - whether one sees them with Iban eyes or not. Technique is amazing and they seem to have a very strong power emanating from them - and that is only from small computer images. How wonderful to see them directly! Thank you for showing us the photos of Sendi to accompany her weavings. She has a very limpid gaze - like a whirlpool with much under the surface. I realise that the style of photography at the time contributes strongly to this but it is quite natural to believe that she wove 'not just threads but also profound philosophies and secret stories, legends and lessons. She is an historian, a magician, a storyteller and a priest' as you say.

What a difference it makes to learn about Iban weaving through real cloths and, most important, through a real - if very special - weaver with the story told with a family closeness and yet a distance of wider experience. Thank you for being our teacher, interpreter...and so much more. You are 'of your culture' yet, at the same time, have an appreciation of other cultures and views which enables you to look at something with many eyes and attitudes. (A UK law degree is a very good counterpoint and balance to your Iban heritage, not to mention the very modern life that you are part of in KL!)

I think that this presentational style is very interesting and worth developing. Exactly how you might pitch the tone in further development will depend on length of piece you are writing and the target audience.

Don't stop...!

_________________
Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
susan stem wrote:
Vernon-
What extraordinary images! And so nicely complimented by your poetic commentary. These are truly works of art, but in a cultural context as you so eloquently share with us, they seem to transcend even that! They are rich with meaning, visual beauty and "magic". I am totally in awe of the skill and sensitivity required to create such beautiful compositions. Thank you so much for sharing these, and all the previous material with us!



Dear Susan

Iban textiles are well known throughout the world, and practically every serious collector of asian art and textile would own a piece or more of our weavings. My concern is that the REAL meaning and appreciation of our cloths get lost with time. Hence, I'm on a 'crusade' to offer another perspective of our cloths; their innate spirituality and the profound and almost tangible sense of awe which surrounds them.

There has been a lot of discussion on technique but hardly enough discourse on the spirituality of these cloths in books and articles and academic papers. Collectors have been taught by dealers, writers and curators to appreciate their aesthetic beauty and material technique but precious little has been taught in the way of how the Iban actually 'revere' and 'perceive' their textiles.

If I have been able to open even a small window of comprehension for the keen observer of the esoteric knowledge I have inherited, then I am getting closer to my goal.

Thank you for the feedback. As you learn, so am I learning too.

Vernon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
Pamela wrote:
I came onto the thread quite early on as Vernon was posting - and was enthrawled!

When I saw the 3 pua which Vernon posted first, my initial thought was of how very intensely and finely 'filled' each pua was and just how amazing that was when considering that all the design was first created by ikat. I was then fascinated by Vernon's description of the key qualities which a weaver must show including 'ultimately the intricacy of her embellishments against a 'canvass' of deep maroon.' Thank you so much for taking us so carefully through the key qualities on which a weaver is judged.

Equally interesting was your illumination of what can be 'seen' in each pua both to the Iban and the uninitiated non-Iban collector. Fascinating!

Question. We see Sendi in Singapore before WWII. Did she weave in Singapore? Was she visiting or was she living in Singapore full time? Did the family leave before the Japanese came or afterwards? Were the pua and loincloth woven before the Singapore photo or afterwards?

These are stunning pieces - whether one sees them with Iban eyes or not. Technique is amazing and they seem to have a very strong power emanating from them - and that is only from small computer images. How wonderful to see them directly! Thank you for showing us the photos of Sendi to accompany her weavings. She has a very limpid gaze - like a whirlpool with much under the surface. I realise that the style of photography at the time contributes strongly to this but it is quite natural to believe that she wove 'not just threads but also profound philosophies and secret stories, legends and lessons. She is an historian, a magician, a storyteller and a priest' as you say.

What a difference it makes to learn about Iban weaving through real cloths and, most important, through a real - if very special - weaver with the story told with a family closeness and yet a distance of wider experience. Thank you for being our teacher, interpreter...and so much more. You are 'of your culture' yet, at the same time, have an appreciation of other cultures and views which enables you to look at something with many eyes and attitudes. (A UK law degree is a very good counterpoint and balance to your Iban heritage, not to mention the very modern life that you are part of in KL!)

I think that this presentational style is very interesting and worth developing. Exactly how you might pitch the tone in further development will depend on length of piece you are writing and the target audience.

Don't stop...!



Hello Pamela

Allow me to respond to you paragraphically.

my initial thought was of how very intensely and finely 'filled' each pua was and just how amazing that was when considering that all the design was first created by ikat.

Besides the Saribas pua kumbu, perhaps the double ikat gerinsing of Tenganan in Bali and the patola of Gujerat in India are the most finely 'filled' of traditional asian textiles. Three ancient traditions that have their place in the textile world. Amazing indeed. Thank you for recognising the art of our women.


Question. We see Sendi in Singapore before WWII. Did she weave in Singapore? Was she visiting or was she living in Singapore full time? Did the family leave before the Japanese came or afterwards? Were the pua and loincloth woven before the Singapore photo or afterwards?

No, she didn't weave in Singapore. She made frequent visits to Singapore to be with her daughter but all her weaving was done in the attic of the longhouse at Stambak Ulu. In her day, travel was a luxury only a few could afford. Even the common Iban man hardly travelled, and for an Iban woman to travel was virtually unheard of. But Sendi came from the leading family of the Saribas, which also owned the first shipping company that plied the Kuching-Singapore-Kuching route.

Sendi woved continuously up until the war. Granddad and family suffered the Japanese Occupation in Singapore while Sendi was safely hiding in the forests of the Saribas with the rest of her attendants and extended family. Weaving abruptly stopped during the war and was discontinued after the war. Why was it discontinued? The entire belief system and status-enhancing value system of the Saribas Iban had been eroded and replaced by Anglicanism and education couched in the language of 'western modernity'. I am a product of that 'western modernity', and now it is my responsibility to safeguard what's left of the vestiges of our ancient culture.


Technique is amazing and they seem to have a very strong power emanating from them


These are magical cloths, nothing less. This is a fact often glossed over by the academics. I am glad you have felt their power. Blood was spilt in their making, lives sacrificed. But that will have to be a special and 'controversial' chapter in my book. Not now, not yet. The world may not be ready for the deeper secrets.


Thank you for showing us the photos of Sendi to accompany her weavings. She has a very limpid gaze - like a whirlpool with much under the surface.


Sendi inherited the mantle of First Lady of the Saribas from her mother Mengan who was unrivalled as a grandmaster weaver, ritual specialist, keeper of oral history and chief mid-wife. Sendi was Anglican herself but also practitioner of the old religion. It was a difficult time for her.

I've re-attached Dad's christening photo with labels. The reader might be somewhat confused as to the naming system. Let me explain. Iban did not have surnames, and some still don't. Western influence has taught us to use surnames. Granddad's generation started using surnames, which is why my father is Albert Rumpang Kedit and I am Vernon Kedit-Jolly. Sendi's father was named Ketit, and therefore she was known as Sendi anak (child of) Ketit. Ketit was not her surname. Ketit and Kedit are two different names and not a typo :-)


I think that this presentational style is very interesting and worth developing. Exactly how you might pitch the tone in further development will depend on length of piece you are writing and the target audience.

Pamela, I am thankful for this forum. It gives me the space to experiment with how much and how far I can engage the reader. I hope more members of the forum would offer kindly their thoughts and comments.

Vernon


Attachments:
the leap year picture.jpg
the leap year picture.jpg [ 59.59 KiB | Viewed 7823 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group