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 Post subject: Mystery jacket
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:03 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Here is a lovely, small jacket made of handspun, naturally-dyed cotton. The woven detailing down the front is similar to the borders on 'tampan' from south Sumatra, but I've never seen a jacket quite like this from there. The nature of the striped cotton is similar to the sacred 'bebali' fabric from Bali, but I've never seen it made into a jacket. Is it even from Indonesia? Thoughts anyone?


Attachments:
Mail-Jacket.jpg
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File comment: Jacket back
Mail-Jacket back.jpg
Mail-Jacket back.jpg [ 108.59 KiB | Viewed 9493 times ]
File comment: Jacket front detail
Mail-Jacket-front detail.jpg
Mail-Jacket-front detail.jpg [ 123.84 KiB | Viewed 9493 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:19 pm 
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Susan, It looks a lot like a man's jacket from the Gaddang Tribe of northern Luzon. The finely striped material, borders with woven designs and tassels all remind me of Gaddang jackets. The only thing missing are the beads that the Gaddang are so fond of. That said, it could possibly be a Kalinga jacket as some Kalinga areas have jackets very similar but without the beads. Best regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:18 am 
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Thank you so much MAC! I do not have access to many textiles from the Philippines, so am not familiar with them. Do you have any references that perhaps I could pursue?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:11 am 
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Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hello Susan, I can assure you the jacket -as MAC suggested (SORRY MAC)- is NOT from the Philippine Gaddang-tribe! As I am a long time collector of N.-Philippine tribal items. Those jackets always have a particular stripe-pattern and more red/orange in colour.

It do think it is a good old jacket (1900's) seen the native woven cotton and the natural dyes used. The triangular and floral patterns on the rim does tend me to 'throw the ball back' to Indonesia!
As you said yourself, I also know these short jackets from Sumatera. Though the few I've seen were more orange/black striped.

My first thoughts also went in direction of Sumatera, Susan. For as much as it is worth! he he he.

Actually I tried to attach some pics of the Gaddang jackets n textiles from my collection, but everytime the attempts (4X) made the answer disappear (so this is the 5th time I'm writing this! he he). HELP!

As I am a new member I shall just introduce myself shortly; I am a long time N.-Philippine tribal art collector (not only textiles) and can probably savely say that in the Netherlands (perhaps Europe) my collection is at least in top 5 best N.-Philippine collections.
As soon as I have figured out the picture-attaching-skills shall post pics.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:00 am 
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Thank you so much for joining this discussion! I hope you can post some photos of your collection soon. I did check my only source of Philippine textiles and found some similar jackets, but they are not as finely finished or in the same color range as this one. Note also, this one is lined(!). The small jackets from south Sumatera that most of us know are Kauer and are probably the orange/black ones to which you refer. And yes, this one is nothing like those. I wonder if Pamela might be able to check the catalog of the E.M. Bakwin Collection from the Art Institute of Chicago, mentioned in the post about the 'tapis tua' from Lampung, to see if the Abung have any jackets like this. I do not have that reference.

Thanks to all for contributing to this!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Hi Susan

Sorry for the delay in responding to your question re Abung textiles in 'The Art of Indonesian Textiles: The E.M. Bakwin Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago'. I have been very frustrated by not being able to find the book! So annoying as I knew where it should be! Now, looking for the ...nth time I found it - hiding at the top of a pile of books, slightly slid back so that I couldn't see the volume at all - and exactly where I thought it should be! That is the good news - the bad is that I have leafed through the whole book looking for any jackets similar to yours but without success. The photos of the Abung yielded nothing at all like your jacket - or, at least nothing that I could see peeping out from more ornate over-layered textiles.

So, the hunt remains! I can see why MAC suggested Gaddang or Kalinga since jackets in 'Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave' for jackets/blouses of both groups have echoes of your jacket in tailoring, at least. Of course, the style is very much dictated by simple folding of narrow woven textiles.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hello again, could this jacket perhaps be from Timor? I just visited Mark Johnsons' site and under textiles there is a so-called 'saddle textile' (or similar title) which did remind me much of this jacket; also the unstructured stripes of different colors randomly wide and thin lines.

Have a look. Mark Johnson describes his textile to Timor.
Seen all the facts together I think this would be the 'final destination' of the jacket to me!
But perhaps still not a full 100% until a most similar piece is found with the same origin.

Some Indonesian textile experts who can 'put the whipped cream on this case' ???


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 Post subject: Jacket
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:08 am 
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
The jacket in question does have a somewhat similar pattern to the Timor saddle bags on my website, but these bags are woven from thick bast fibers, so the resemblance is coincidental in my opinion. Outside of these saddle bags, which I have not seen before now, I can't recall any other Timor textile with the same simple stripped pattern that would fit as an origin for the jacket.

I have not seen this type of jacket before and my first impression is that it does resembles jackets from the Philippines or perhaps from one of the hill tribes in Indochina or southern China. However, the decorative trim is done in the exact technique and colors of the weaves found on Tampan or Palepai from the Lampung region of south Sumatra, so I would suspect that region as a strong candidate.


Attachments:
File comment: Bast Fiber Saddle Bag from Timor Island.
z82c.jpg
z82c.jpg [ 158.61 KiB | Viewed 9238 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:30 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thank you so much Mark for contributing to this discussion! Your saddle blankets are very interesting and so unlike most Timorese textiles. I would be interested in knowing what the bast fiber is- it sounds like the last gasp of a very old tradition.

Re the jacket in question: I think I may be getting closer, having dug into my own collection for a striped, naturally-dyed Balinese cotton cloth I remembered as possibly being similar in spirit to the cloth of the jacket. Actually, I have two pieces of what is known as 'wangsul': a continuous-warp textile that is considered sacred in Bali, and is used in rite of passage ceremonies. The term 'wangsul' refers to the circular warp and means "to return". They are also called 'gedogan' in some areas. Cloth, and the threads forming its structure, are considered protective and represent a powerful bonding force. These forces can be symbolically freed with the cutting of the warp threads, hence the importance of the intact warps.

Originally woven on 'cagcag', or backstrap looms, this particular style/design of 'wangsul' fell out of fashion and has been replaced by other material or cloth. It is only now being revived (thank you Lesley Pullen for the excellent article online about this).

The first piece is incredibly similar to the jacket cloth, and is also notable for its lack of symmetry in the layout of the stripes. which is also a quality shared with the jacket (the back is one single panel and shows the asymmetricality) - said to be a gender reference. My purchase notes say it is from Amlapura, on the east side of Bali, not too far from Tenganan.

The second cloth is twice the width of the first, but still only one panel, and is symmetrical.

I also found one reference in Robyn Maxwell's excellent book Textiles of Southeast Asia, p.309: "In Bali and Lombok. . . sacred woven cloth is used for men's ceremonial jackets." Could this be an example? Is this a jacket for a man? To me it looks more fitting in size and design for a female, tho females in Bali did not usually wear such attire.

Also, there is still the mystery of the woven designs down the front and around the bottom edge, which are so similar to the borders on weavings from south Sumatra. Could these pieces have been cut off of another textile acquired thru trade...? Are any of our Bali experts out there? Susi? Georges? Donna? Might any historical photos show a young man or woman wearing a similar jacket?

Again- thank you much to all who have considered this question.


Attachments:
File comment: 'wangsul' #1 - asymmetrical stripes, like on jacket
Mail-TIB126.jpg
Mail-TIB126.jpg [ 141.2 KiB | Viewed 9135 times ]
Mail-TIB126-detail.jpg
Mail-TIB126-detail.jpg [ 196.55 KiB | Viewed 9135 times ]
File comment: 'wangsul' #2 - symmetrical stripes
Mail-TIB127.jpg
Mail-TIB127.jpg [ 179.37 KiB | Viewed 9135 times ]
Mail-TIB127-detail.jpg
Mail-TIB127-detail.jpg [ 159.46 KiB | Viewed 9135 times ]

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Susan Stem

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Hi Susan

How very, very interesting! I couldn’t resist taking a snippet of the front of your jacket and then a snippet from the detail of your wangsul 1 – which I attach one after the other. The similarity of weave/warp stripe is very striking.

Especially fascination to me is the serendipity of reading, just before I looked at your latest post, an email today from Sandra Niessen who happens to be in Bali at the moment! She was telling me that, as part of her ongoing research for the film that she is producing on the origins of Batak weaving Rangsa ni Tonun: ”Yesterday I saw cotton in Bali being cleaned, fluffed and spun. The equipment is available here and I have purchased a pipisan or cotton gin. It is very close to the Batak version, stunningly close. A few amendments will make it identical....” She has had such difficulty finding the original weaving implements in the Batak lands for the film. (See her blog http://bataktextiles.blogspot.com/ )

Following along with this serendipity you may be aware that the Batak also use and value a continuous, uncut backstrap-woven cloth, in Toba Batak a lobulobu. Page 102, Design 4: 2 “The textiles used for spiritual protection, especially to ensure the survival of children, overlapped with clothing and textiles used for ritual functions. The cloth selected for use as a parompa, or carrycloth, would be higher or lower status depending on the social and ritual circumstances fig. Des 4.1. In the villages, the lobulobu see Cat 1.31; Cat 1.51; Cat 4.3 was still occasionally prescribed by indigenous healers as a carry-cloth when the life of a child appeared to be in danger, because the uncut warp was still believed to ensure the continuity of life fig. Des 4.6. The categories ‘parompa’ and ‘lobulobu’ reference both design and function.” Fig. Des 4.6. shows a lobulobu used as a carry cloth (parompa) in the Toba village of Tampubolon in 1986. I will see if I can post the image as I think it is one of Sandra’s field research photos. Interestingly, the lobulobu cloth is a surisuri – one of the ancient origin blue cloths with warp stripes and ikat.

Sandra has mentioned several times in the past of the importance of someone compiling a comparison of weaving techniques across the Indonesian archipelago and even said that this forum could be a useful vehicle. Well, here is a small contribution!!!


Attachments:
File comment: small detail from Susan Stem's mystery jacket
jckt_frnt_det-a.jpg
jckt_frnt_det-a.jpg [ 10.18 KiB | Viewed 9122 times ]
File comment: small detail from Susan Stem's Wangsul 1 shown above
tib126_det-a.jpg
tib126_det-a.jpg [ 10.24 KiB | Viewed 9122 times ]

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Pamela

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:25 am 
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Further to my post immediately above, Sandra is very happy if I post the image from 1986 of a Toba Batak mother using a surisuri as an uncut warp lobulobu and loves your jacket, Susan!

[Full info on image is: Legacy in cloth: Batak textiles of Indonesia by Sandra Niessen 2009 - "Page 103, Fig. Des 4.6 A lobulobu used as a carry cloth (parompa) in the Toba village of Tampubolan. 1986. A surisuri Cat 1.5.1 with an uncut warp is being used as a lobulobu, a textile specially designed to protect the health of the child to whom it is give" - just too much text for the image posting software!]


Attachments:
File comment: Page 103, Fig. Des 4.6 A lobulobu used as a carry cloth (parompa) in the Toba village of Tampubolan. 1986. A surisuri Cat 1.5.1 with an uncut warp is being used as a lobulobu, a textile specially designed to protect the health of the child to whom it is
Des.4.6.p103-Lic.jpg
Des.4.6.p103-Lic.jpg [ 88.69 KiB | Viewed 9087 times ]

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Last edited by Pamela on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:21 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Many thank yous Pamela and Sandra. What a wonderfully symbolic textile for a baby/child carrier! Protective. Encircling. Connecting. So meaningful.

Also, re continuous warp textiles used for ritual purposes, one cannot ignore the 'geringsing' from Tenganan, Bali- not too far from where my 'wangsul' came from evidently. Woven on a backstrap loom, but using double ikat for the patterning.

I wonder what other groups/ areas might use this type of textile for symbolic and ritual purposes? Offhand, I cannot think of any in mainland SE Asia. It has to be woven on a backstrap loom, so it will be restricted by that.
Very interesting to think about...

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:09 pm 
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There is an interesting chapter 'Textiles in their ceremonial and ritual context' in "Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia" by Mattiebelle Gittinger, Oxford University Press, 1990 where she begins the chapter (p27) talking about circular cloths. There is quite a bit more information about the Batak. She also mentions, p28, the Sasak of Lombok who "still use sacred kombong cloths of a circular shape". She also says: "Other groups viewed the circular warp structure and the cutting of that continuous form as a metaphor for the passage into a new stage of existence. In the Molo region of Timor, an uncut silimut is the major gift for a dead person........." Further on "Some of the most famous ritual cloths in Indonesia, the double ikat cloths of Bali, also remain uncut until used in a ceremonial context such as marriage or first hair cutting....." "Ceremonies that turned on the ritual cutting of newly woven warp yarns were probably performed in ancient Java...

As I said earlier, a very interesting chapter - not only about circular warps - and I have only just touched on various points in the excerpts of text cited above.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:58 am 
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One technical note: Actually, circular warps are used all around the world, on many different kinds of loom set-ups. Their use is NOT restricted to back-strap looms. Warps made with yarns wrapped continuously around two beams, can function just as well with beams staked to the ground, or held rigidly in place with uprights or side bars. Whether or not a weaver's back holds the warp taut is irrelevant.

Marla Mallett


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:29 am 
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Oops! The backstrap part was just an assumption I made due to limited exposure to the techniques used to make weavings in other areas. If you could cite some examples it might be interesting to do some research and see if the circular warp textiles produced might have special meaning or ritual use.

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