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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Location: UK
Hello everybody,

As you see I am new here. I love Ethno textiles and have manged to find a few nice pieces at car boot sales and the like. I would like to share them with you all. First let me put this one to you, I got it at the weekend.
I think it may be of some interest, with the asymmetrical borders. I understand the theme of the central motif is not uncommon but I think the stylisation is very striking. The cloth is approx 202x117cm quite a heavy wieght and feel. I think I am right that the colours are from natural dyes? Cotton threads and cotton or similar fibres. Comments welcome. Thanks HoneyD


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tex 004.jpg
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tex 003.jpg
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tex 002.jpg
tex 002.jpg [ 151.08 KiB | Viewed 6946 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:41 pm 
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I do not think that this is an Iban textile and that it is not from the Borneo. I think that the textile originated from the Nusa Tenggara (or Lesser Sunda Islands) in Indonesia, probably from the island of Sumba.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:57 am 
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Thank you Pamela. Can you say anymore about? I do not think it is terribly old. I think it has some age to it perhaps 3 or 4 decades? Do you think it was made to wear around the shoulders with the eye dazzle border showing around the waist? I look at the weaving just as an uninformed admirer, I am just amazed at the skill and cleaver subtle artist eye of the weaver. Do the weavers work to a cartoon as most Oriental carpet weavers do?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:14 am 
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The motifs are in the Sumba style and can be found on hinggi - clothing worn by men and lau pahuda, a skirt worn by women. I think that your piece was originally woven as the bottom part of a woman's lau pahuda. I am posting photos of a couple of lau pahuda shown on page 75 of 'Decorative Arts of Sumba' (containing textiles from the collection of the Rotterdam Museum of Ethnology). The captions are: Left: lau pahuda, woman's sarong, Sumba, end of 19th or beginning of 20th century, warp ikat and supplementary warp, cotton, handspun and imported yarn (bright red and yellow), 120 x 85 + 77 cm. Right: lau, woman's sarong, Sumba beginnning of 20th century, warp ikat, cotton, handspun and imported yarn, 132 x 71 + 67 cm.

It may be that the piece was woven for the tourist market based on the form of weaving usually used for a woman's sarong and that it was never actually used as the bottom panel of a lau pahuda.

I would not be able to hazard a guess as to the age of your piece as this is not an area of my expertise.

The ikat would not usually be tied using a cartoon. Someone might use an existing skirt as an inspiration in front of them as they tied the threads prior to dyeing or tie it straight from the mind. In ikat - as in your piece - it is the tying and re-tying of the warp threads in bundles to resist a series of dyes which is the real skill of the piece rather than the actual weaving itself once the pre-dyed warp threads have been lined up on the loom when it is set up.

Similar designs are also created in the weaving by picking up a supplementary warp. That is, I am pretty sure, the case in the lau pahuda on the left below as there is a detail of the same sarong shown on page 74 of the book and it is clearly a design created in the weave from a supplementary natural warp which lies beneath the main top warp. There has been a little daubing with dye after weaving on the motifs but they are not, I think, ikat.


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File comment: Sumba - women's lau pahuda from page 75 of 'Decorative Arts of Sumba'
sumba-lau.jpg
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Last edited by Pamela on Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:55 am 
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Thanks again Pamela. I found this picture of an Iban man at a cock fight wearing a cloth from a book on Iban art. So being optimistic could there be a chance my cloth could was made for and of a quality suitable to the Sumba domestic market?

This has been so informative. Latter this evening I hope to start a sadle cloth.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:45 pm 
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The man is wearing a pua around his shoulders. He might well be a medicine man/shaman. As I expect you know, the Iban live in Borneo. Most are in Sarawak, one of the two states of East Malaysia in Borneo. There are a few Iban over the border in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

See http://worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys ... dlarge.htm
http://www.e-borneo.com/travel/map2.html
http://www.biocrawler.com/encyclopedia/ ... slands.png
http://www.bali-travel-online.com/sumba ... ba_map.htm

I really cannot tell you anything more about your piece from the photos. It may be that other members of the forum are able to do so. It looks as if the original piece has rather crude fringe made at either end - which would not have been done in the original piece if it was for a sarong but could have been made later. It looks rather faded. The dyes do tend to fade in the sun quite easily. The thread, from your close-up all look to be machine made.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:47 pm 
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I have just found this web site. Very interesting made in Java and not a patch like mine with very simple symetrical borders. Mine does appear to have been around in the sun for some time.
http://windsong2.com/Merchant2/merchant ... Code=Cloth


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:23 pm 
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Very interesting indeed and well spotted! The fringing is very similar which would make me suspicious of your piece because I do not think that this is natural as a textile would have been used in Sumba.

It is so hard to tell these days what is 'genuine' and what is not. Increasingly textiles are woven in traditional styles for the tourist market. They are often based on traditional designs. At least the Java piece is still woven. In some cases something that might have been made in batik (wax resist) is now machine printed and there is no resist at all.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:12 am 
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These blankets were readily available in commercial markets in Bali in the early 1990's- as I recall they were very inexpensive, tho appealing with traditional iconography, colors, and warp ikat. They were often used by hotels and guesthouses there as decorative elements and bed coverings.

'Hinggis' are used as mantles and as hip cloths by the men of Sumba. Once one sees a real hinggi in the 'flesh' so to speak, there is only a minimal comparison to this blanket: the weight, size, intricacy of design, and quality of ikat are usually much finer.

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