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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:44 pm 
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I came across another textile from Borneo today folded amongst my Batak pieces from Sumatra (but that is another story). This square weaving is from Sabah and is a Kain Dastar from Kota Belud and is probably a Bajau (or an Iranun) piece - the Bajau are famed horsemen and you will see horses in the weaving. The one metre square piece is worn very carefully folded into a siga - the headcloth worn by most indigenous groups in Sabah. There is a very interesting piece about Kain Dastars in 'An introduction to the Traditional Costumes of Sabah' edited by Rita Lasimbang and Stella Moo-Tan which I have mentioned before and is now listed on my (new) Malaysia bibliography http://www.tribaltextiles.info/bibliogr ... _books.htm

The thread of the weaving is probably cotton. The edging is some synthetic (proably nylon) fabric.


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File comment: Kain Dastar from Kota Belud, Sabah
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borneo33b.jpg [ 58.64 KiB | Viewed 7212 times ]
File comment: detail
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borneo38b.jpg [ 45.37 KiB | Viewed 7212 times ]

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 Post subject: Textile from Sabah
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 4:31 am 
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This style of headcloth is most likely is from the Jolo Islands and made by the Tausug. The make silk tapestry-weave cloth in this format. The Jolo Islands are part of a group of islands stretching south from Mindanao to the tip of Sabah state on Borneo. It is not unusual to find southern Philippine textiles throughout the area and there are very strong cultural connections as Sulu pirates and traders were moving up and down the Borneo coast, especially around Sabah.

Your example is unusual with the horse motifs, something that I have not seen in Tausug textiles before now. Perhaps, the group in Sabah make their own version of the Tausug style.

I have included a typical example from Jolo Island, that I purchased in Mindanao in the early 1980's.

See: "From the Rainbow's Varied Hue, Textiles of the Southern Philippines", by Roy Hamilton (a UCLA Fowler Museum publication).


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Textile 183a.jpg
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 Post subject: Sabah Textile
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 4:39 am 
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Looking back at the detail of the example you have, it appears not to be tapestry weave. It almost looks like an embroidery (which does exist in other southern Philippine textiles, as well). Certainly, the overall style is related to the Tausug head cloth, but now it is easier to see the differences with these two examples available. Interesting. I have not come across other indigenous Sabah textiles like your example before, so now I will have to check out the book you mentioned. Thanks for bringing this piece to the forum.

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 Post subject: Hmong Cross-stitch?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:54 pm 
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Great to get your contribution Mark, and Pamela, what a beautiful cloth. However, I was very interested in the layout of the textile because my first thought upon viewing was how very similar it was to a Hmong cross-stitch acculturated piece.

Of course it's not, just a very interesting example of a realistic convergence. Did anyone else notice it?

And Mark, I'm always amazed at the subtle coloring found in that area, especially after the quiet elegance of a limited palate of natural dyes found elsewhere in Indonesia.

Sandie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:25 pm 
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Mark

Thanks very much for posting the example of the textile from the Philippines. Interesting to see similar designs, especially in the corners. ‘An Introduction to the Traditional Costumes of Sabah, page 3, refers to
Quote:
“the seafaring peoples who are predominantly Muslim. These are the Bajaus and their kindred groups, many of whom have lived for hundreds of years on the coasts. They have been joined recently by other immigrant groups from the Philippines and Indonesia, and collectively they have been described as Malays, a general classification which is somewhat misleading, since these groups display great variations in their culture, languages and custom. These people also show a taste for bright multi-colours in their dress and furnishings, and also for elaborate floral motifs in their other crafts, an element which appear to have been greatly inspired by Islam. The use of colours and such artefacts, however, has not been exclusive to these groups. Over the years a great deal of objects, ideas and concepts have been traded or exchanged between the Bajau and the other groups living in the vicinity, arising from their symbiotic relationships. This is evident from the objects and dress of the Dusun/Kadazan who live near them.”


‘Cultures, Customs and Traditions of Sabah, Malaysia, and Introduction’ (also listed in the Malay bibliography) refers to
Quote:
“The Bajau, along Suluk, Iranun and Obian people from Southern Philippines langed on the shores of Sabah around 200 years ago. Adding more diversity to Sabah’s culture, this now mainly Muslim people were once known as Sea Gipsies because of their seafaring ways in the past. Many have since traded their sea vessels and fishing gear for farm tools and some, like the Kota Belud Bajau, are excellent buffalo rearers…..The Kota Belud Bajau have also been referred to as “Cowboys of the East” becaue of their highly-skilled horsemanship, and they are the famous Bajau Horsemen. Astride ponies decorated with tiny bells and colourful reins and cloths, the horsemen, in less elaborate gear themselves, often take part in State celebrations.”


The kain dastar is worn as a folded, male, headcloth by many of the different groups in Sabah and the cloth, when folded and worn, has slightly different names: siga (Penampang Kadazan), sigal (Papar Kadazan), sundi (Tuaran Lotud), sigar (Dusan Tindal) and, by the Bajua themselves, the tanjak.

The kain dastar is woven on a backstrap loom with the continuous warp threads held spread evenly over the warp beam and breast beam. The colours are added in by discontinuous supplementary weft. Both books strongly assert that the kain dastar is woven. I at first thought that the colour might be added by embroidery but a photo on page 86 of ‘Cultures, Customs and Traditions of Sabah, Malaysia, and Introduction’ convinced me otherwise as a photo of ‘Dastar Weaving’ clearly shows a woman weaving on a backstrap loom and the discontinuous supplementary coloured threads on the top surface of the weaving.
Quote:
“..the dastar, a richly woven piece of material used as headgear by native men,….”


My 1996 guide book to ‘Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore’ published by Trade & Travel in their Trade & Travel Hardbacks series also mentions:
Quote:
“The ceremonial headdresses worn by the horsemen – called dastars – are woven on backstrap looms by the womenfolk of Kota Belud. Each piece takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete. Traditionally, the points of the headdress were stiffened using wax – these days, strips of cardboard are inserted into the points.”


Just in case anyone is thinking of visiting Kota Belud the guidebook advises only going on a Sunday – and getting their early – for the Sunday market (starting at 08:00) when a mix of races – Bajau, Kadazan/Dusun, Rungus, Chinese, Indian and Malay – come to sell their goods and socialise. The rest of the week the town is ‘a small sleepy town’.

I think I have another Sabah cloth used by males of another group, the Rungus, as a folded headcloth. I will have a hunt for it. This time I visited a longhouse where it was embroidered (yes, this is embroidered not woven) and saw a similar one on a stretcher frame partly finished. Posting any photo will, I fear, have to wait until my phone line gets sorted.

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 Post subject: kain pis from Sabah
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 7:44 pm 
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Well, I have come armed with my photos and my text to post material on my other headcloth from Sabah, a kain pis.

It is 95cm square. It is made of two different coloured pieces of (nylon) cloth which have been stitched together (by machine) before the square was mounted on a frame for (hand) embroidery. The embroidery has been drawn out in pencil on the yellow side of the cloth and then the embroidery (mainly satin stitch but with some other stitches) sewn though both layers of fabric. It would be worn with the black side showing to the outside of the folds. ‘An Introduction to the Traditional Costumes of Sabah’ (see pages 97-100 which describe the legends and the techniques and show an illustration of the frame used to give tension) says of the Kain Pis:
Quote:
“Kain pis is a one-metre square of two facing pieces of cloth richly embroidered with colourful stylised motifs. It is reversible. The completed piece is usually folded, tied and worn as headgear mostly by Rungus men. The men of other ethnic groups of Sabah also wear it.

Legend of Kain Pis

The origin of the Kain Pis is associated with the Saluk community who were seafarers originating from the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines. Therefore, the motifs found in the kain pis have been profoundly influenced by their lifestyle. The motifs embroidered on the kain pis such as kaliagah (similar to a dragon), spider, fish and bird (Agira) contained legends. The most prominent theme is the kaliagah. [See the kaliagah in the posted photos below].

According to the Suluk people, the kaliagah is a kind of animal, which although it resembles a fierce dragon, it inspires beauty.

According to the legend, while going about their daily chores by the river one day, some women saw a beautiful vision of a fairy-like water creature with its long body swaying to the rhythm of the water. They were so enthralled by the scene that they desired to get close to it. But alas, they then realised that what they were seeing was only an image created by the sun rays hitting the water surface. As a result of this experience, the women tried to capture the beauty of a water creature – the Kaliagah, into their embroidery – the kain pis.”


I purchased the kain pis in the late 1990s in a Rungus longhouse in the Kudat area - (in the north of Sabah) from the woman who had made it.


Attachments:
File comment: Front side of kain pis
rungus-(2).jpg
rungus-(2).jpg [ 54.7 KiB | Viewed 7160 times ]
File comment: reverse side of kain pis - the yellow of the nylon fabric is a much lighter, acid/lemon yellow than shown in the photo
rungus-(9).jpg
rungus-(9).jpg [ 48.54 KiB | Viewed 7160 times ]
File comment: detail of the front side of kain pis showing two kaliagah
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rungus-(8).jpg [ 42.73 KiB | Viewed 7160 times ]
File comment: corner detail of the reverse side of kain pis
rungus-(11).jpg
rungus-(11).jpg [ 59.92 KiB | Viewed 7160 times ]

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