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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Hi:

I bought this in Padang, Sumatra ca: 1988. The dealer said that it is an 80 year old wedding skirt. Despite the Indonesian talent for copying, I believe this to be real and old.

I have never seen another sarong like this, either in a book or in person, so I would also be curious how rare it is.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

(Sorry that it is creased in the photos - it is flat in actuality)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:38 pm 
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Hi Anna

Very, very interesting! Are the beads white glass? Fabric cotton??

Thanks for the post.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:42 am 
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Hi Pamela:

It is cotton. The beads are glass and there are metal "sequins" (not really sequins, but not beads either) behind the beads in specific places in the design.

Anna

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Hello,

For me this textile is very very recent, I mean maybe the year you bought it.
The design is not complex, and not made with soul, that's why I think, not old. Thanks for sharing


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:42 pm 
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Hello Valentin

sounds like you have seen similar textiles before (I have not, interested to see more). Do you have examples you can post for comparison?

Chris

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:49 am 
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Valentin: What type of textiles do you collect? You have such a strong reaction to this piece that I'm curious what your frame of reference is.

fyi, the seams on either side of the white beading down the center are hand sewn and show wear.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Hi Valentin

It would be helpful if you are able to give us more background info to your posts - photos, references etc. - so that we can place your statements in context. On this forum we try to back up our comments with some hard info if we are able to do so rather than gut instinct. That, of course, does not preclude appreciation (or not) where this is clearly based on personal emotion engendered by the textiles in question. We are all trying to broaden our knowledge and my mantra is always 'share, share, share!'

I think several of us are intrigued to know what you collect (or deal in)!

Best,

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:40 pm 
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For Sumatra it's very very simple and cheap design, for a wedding sarong black colour is very unusual, black for wedding in South East Asia! I am not an expert in Indonesian Textiles, that's only my feeling, everything seems very cheap in this textile, but I judge with picture, so...and I said already in my first message (Pamela, typical english favour): thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:09 pm 
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I don't particularly get a sense of Sumatra in the textile design although the bead edging top and bottom reminds me of the beading often sewn down the sides of the (ceremonial shoulder cloth) ragi hotang of the Toba Batak from N Sumatra. Sumatra is a large island which is home to very diverse cultures. It is easy to be distracted by some of the very striking textiles which are well known and to be unaware of less 'in your face' textiles from some other groups.

As it happens, the heavy beading on the main sarong reminds me strongly of the beading on Katu and neighbouring groups (blouses and loincloths) in Central Vietnam and across the border in Laos. There white or white metal beads would be on a black/dark indigo background. If I had been told that the textile came from this area I would not have been surprised.

I have no problem with it being a wedding skirt. It all depends on the group and their traditions and the financial standing of the family concerned.

Definitely an interesting piece and it will nag at me until we manage to track down its ID. I do like a good 'mystery textile'! Thank you Anna.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:09 am 
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I see the relationship, Pamela, but the Vietnamese textiles have white beads woven into the fabric - these beads are sewn on.

I just took out Beadwork, A World Guide - on page 132 there is a Batak cloth with beads and on page 134 there is "a handwoven cloth made with machine-spun cloth; beads have been added to the weft. These ceremonial should cloths were exchanged at weedings by the Karo Batak."

Well, we've now got beads and Batak, although, in the latter case (it doesn't say about the former), with the beads woven into the cloth. Interesting.

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Last edited by Ikat on Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:32 am 
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Hi Anna-
I was wondering if the beads were woven or sewn... glad you clarified that. I think Pamela is also thinking of Ta Oi in Vietnam, but as you say they weave the beads into the fabric.

I know this is out of left field, but could it have come from the Philippines? They use beads and sequins a lot in some ceremonial textiles, and in similar patterns. I looked in the only books I have and found nothing specific to this piece, just things more complicated but with a similar 'feel' in terms of motif and materials. Also, with Padang on the coast, it could have come there with a traveller. One other place to consider is Nias, the island off the coast of Sumatra. I know nothing of their textiles, tho they have great knives and statues, so they might have interesting textiles as well.

I also checked a book I have on the textiles of Aceh, called Tangan-Tangan Trampil; Hands of Time- The Crafts of Aceh, and found nothing remotely like this.

Re the black fabric: it looks like it is probably a commercial cotton, ie bought in the market, not handspun or handwoven. It is worth bearing in mind that tho it may not have the hand of the weaver apparent in it (soul?), it would be a sign of status perhaps to be able to purchase special fabric, rather than make it yourself. Also, the use of metal 'sequins' hints at an older textile as cheap plastic ones have been available for years. I love the old Chinese pieces with copper sequins.

I wish I could help locate it, but will keep looking.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:07 am 
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Hi Susan:

The thread looks machine made, and the cloth probably is too.

The Gaddang of Luzon, Philipines are known for their beadwork, but they wear wrap skirts and not sarongs (Textiles of Southeast Asia, Robyn Maxwell)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:38 am 
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The Batak - Toba, Angkola - used beads in their weaving. These were threaded onto the weft threads. They also used beads which they sewed on. I think that the ones I was thinking of on the ragi hotung were sewn on rather than threaded onto warp threads. However, beads were also used sewn onto some clothing - and I use this term advisedly, clothing rather than cloths. There is a jacket with threaded beading on the torso worn by a Mandailing (Batak) bride, early 20th century. The photo is in 'Batak Cloth and Clothing: a Dynamic Indonesian Tradition' by Sandra Niessen, p25. The photo is in the collection of the Rautenstruach-Joest Museum fur Vokerkunde, Cologne so I definitely do not feel able to post here. The bride's sarong does not appear to be similar to the one starting this thread. On page 76 is a photo of a carry cloth for a child (in Sandra's own collection) which is made from commercial (black/indigo) cotton with woollen trim and, I think, a few metal sequins. Sandra estimates it was about 70 years old - book published in 1993. Some (upright) crosses, and embroidered plants (I think!) It looks as if it has some fine glass beading along an edge rather like the top and bottom decoration on Anna' sarong. It is an Angkola (Batak) parompa (carry cloth). The Angkola are known for their use of beadwork. Their textile traditions disappeared some time ago as did that of the Mandailing Batak.

Sandra is due back from Indonesia today, I think, so when she has had a chance to surface and get herself together perhaps she can comment - and also, if she still has the textile in her collection, give us permission to post the photo. I don't think that Anna's piece is necessarily the same but it is interesting how older textiles of 'known' groups are not those which we necessarily associate with them via their more familiar textiles.

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 Post subject: beadwork
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:44 am 
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Dear Pamela and all,

I do not recognize the cloth per se, but it certainly rang bells for me for all the reasons that ever-insightful Pamela has stated. You certainly have my permission to post that photograph. It looks to me like the commercial cotton cloth is similar. The beadwork also has similarities to what I found in Angkola. I guess someone had better get around to writing a book about the textiles of the Angkola and Mandailing Batak. I would not hazard to give a definitive provenance.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:25 pm 
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Sandra,

You are an angel! I am very grateful for your attention to the forum as you plod thorugh all the emails that have accumulated during your absence. I had not liked to point you in the direction of this post so am very grateful for you checking the forum, commenting and giving permission for use of the photo of an Angkola parompa which I attach:

fig 62, page 76 of Batak Cloth and Clothing: A Dynamic Indonesian Tradition
Quote:
"Parompa, Angkola"
Collection S.Niessen. Photograph: Richard Woolner, University of Alberta Photoservices.

About 70 years old, this fine carry-cloth for a child was used ritually. Made of commercial cotton, with woollen trim, it was embroidered locally. It is no longer made."


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File comment: Parompa, Angkola, Collection S.Niessen
p76BCC-Angkola-parompa.jpg
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