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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Kuching, Malaysia
Can anyone help me identify this cloth please?

It is in the British Museum and is listed as a gift from the Rajah James Brooke. The Rajah wrote that it came from the Millanoes (Melanau) of northern Sarawak. However, the Melanau did not weave. Could it therefore have been a trade cloth?

The object is As.3430. To see images, click on this link: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=574076&partid=1&IdNum=As.3430&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database%2fmuseum_no__provenance_search.aspx


Last edited by vernonkeditjolly on Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mystery Textile
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 246
Location: Japan
Hi Vernon! I have written this reply about five times but keep losing it when I try to add attachments. It seems BMP images are not allowed and I can't figure out how to change it to a jpeg image so I'll leave that one out!

The British Museum describes the textile as "Cloth made of textile (palm fibre)". Their descriptions leaves much to be desired! If we assume that it is indeed from Borneo, that it is a warp ikat and that it is some kind of bast fiber, then I am reminded of curculigo latifolia, or doyo fibre (the BMP image I wanted to attach).

The Benuaq People of East Kalimantan do warp ikat using this Doyo Fibre. I wonder if the unknown textile could be a "Tawit'ng Doyo". I am attaching a photo of a great one in the ANG that is somewhat similar. It is about the same size, two panels, warp ikat and doyo fibre. The motifs are also somewhat similar.

Can you by any chance read the writing in the lower right-hand corner of the textile (if turned upright)? It looks like JAVNZA or JERNZA or something. My eyes aren't good enough to make it out. There is also writing in the upper left-hand corner in the white area.

Have you contacted the museum to ask for more info or request close-up photography of the writing?

Congratulations on your article being published. Hope to get to read it one of these days. How is the book coming? Keep up the good work!

Best regards, MAC


Attachments:
Ceremonial-textile-[tawit'ng-doyo].jpg
Ceremonial-textile-[tawit'ng-doyo].jpg [ 61.03 KiB | Viewed 3550 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
MAC
I have added BMP as a file ending that the forum will accept for images so see if you can post your images. (There will still be a 500K max limit).

In case anyone wonders where the images of the textile from the British Museum have gone from this thread we have decided that posting on a forum - an electric form of communication - is against the copyright conditions of use of images as specified by the BM. The link in Vernon's post does, however, take you direct to the images of the textiles on the BM website and the thumbnails there can be enlarged by clicking.

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 246
Location: Japan
I requested and have received photos of the textile from The British Museum. The resolution is much better than those on the net and the writing in the lower right corner of the textile, well at least the one word, can be clearly seen. It says BORNEO!

I did a google on the Melanau and Rajah Brooke and it was very interesting. Do you think it is possible that the Melanau used to weave, do warp ikat and used palm fibre around or before 1861 when their area seems to have been ceded to Sarawak and Rajah Brooke's control? Maybe they did produce this textile and then their weaving tradition died out? I am sure Vernon has checked this all out better and before me but would still like to hear what you think Vernon.

Best regards, MAC


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