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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:37 pm 
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Fuzzy-

Could you list a couple of the sites you are quoting from. I would be interested in seeing them.

Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Fuzzy

I agree with Bill that I would be very interested indeed to see the websites in question. Perhaps you could put some links into a post.

Many thanks,

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:43 am 
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Hi there

Here are some of the sites which refer to dyeing with human blood.....

http://www.indo-holidays.com/indo25/cra ... nganan.htm
".....Reddish or dark brown backgrounds are used to show up whitish and yellow designs. Threads were once dyed in human blood."

http://www.indo.com/interests/shopping_bali.html
"...... There is a legend that when dying the cloth red, human blood was used."

http://www.kububali.com/tenganan-bali.html
".....Reddish, dark brown, blue-black, and tan backgrounds, once dyed in human blood.."

http://www.profitablepractice.com.au/wp/wp2.html
"...offered a very educational commentary on a piece of Ikat weaving, the wafts, dyed with human blood made the cloth as valued as “the price of a new Mercedes Benz."

I must dig deeper. I still can't email Indonesia.

Fuzzy


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:04 pm 
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Am I the only one who finds it creepy to open my email each day to message digests about dying fabric with human blood?


Steven


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:07 am 
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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dear Alla,

I agree with Pamela, I think this weft ikat piece if from one of the Indonesian islands, most likely Savu, due to the overall design and use of mainly floral and foliate motifs.

I've never heard about dyeing with human blood, but now I'm intrigued! It is possible it was practiced a long time ago. I can't make out why the weaver would have incorporated 'WE KI22', but at least it tells us that this piece was made after there was western involvement in the area it was produced.
Very interesting piece indeed!

If I find anything more to add, I'll let you know :)
Adline

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www.lucidfrog.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:17 am 
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Thanks Adline,

You say the sarong has "mainly floral and foliate motifs" but what about the big butterflies on this sarong?

Also, why do say it has western influence because of the lettering? Indonesia has always used the latin alphabet. I'm sure the WE are initials but am very curious about the K122.

I have some more leads to follow up and shall definitely keep you all posted.

Fuzzy


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:29 am 
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Having looked at the links posted by Fuzzy - for which, many thanks - it seems that the human blood dyeing references are very much to legends in Bali (re the double ikat geringsing of Tenganan) and not to historic fact verified by academic research. I can understand why human blood might be part of legend re the shade of red produced by morinda citrifolia as the colour can be very similar to that of dried blood stains on textiles. Tourist guides can be very enthusiastic about local myths. However, I think we should not confuse myths and legends with fact. I may repeat the legend about George and the dragon in respect to England but I do not believe that a dragon was slain.

I have considerable sympathy with Steven Frost about the repeated title appearing in our digests! I have, however, resisted going in and changing the title as it would not be honest to do so. (I am glad, Steven, that you use the digest facility to keep in touch with the forum even if, currently, it gives you daily goose bumps!!)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:19 pm 
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While I rabidly disagree with Pamela's slur on George's dragon. Now you are going to tell me Puff didn't exist. Pamela, your usually sagacious leadership of this board has absolutely gone to your head. Nevertheless, I agree with Pamela's basic distinction between academically-supported fact and legend. Usually I perfer legend, but I understand Pamela hangs around too many academics for her to do so. rofl.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:07 am 
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Forgive my ignorance, but what is 'rofl'?

Yes Pamela, so far all information gathered can only be based on hearsay.

The curator of the National Gallery of Australia, Robyn Maxwell, informed me that the use of blood in dyeing is "complete fiction". She also suggested the sarong is from the island of Flores.

As for Steven Frost feeling creepy, Pamela please don't change the heading. I fail to understand what's creepy about it. Many people, when shown the sarong actually take a step back and won't touch it. It doesn't bother me at all.

Have just received another snippet of information: The Balinese royal family was murdered by the Dutch in the 1st decade of the 20th century and their blood was used to dye Ikat.

Back to the drawing board.....

Fuzzy


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:12 am 
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Roll on Floor Laughing


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:23 am 
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And I, at risk of deepening my onery reputation must disagree with Robin on the Flores attribution. I love Flores, but I don't see it. Once again I am forced to disagree with an academic.

Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:02 am 
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Bill- Not to fear, your ornery reputation is well-established. I'm inclined to also question that attribution, tho I think we should consider all the islands east of Lombok (Flores, Roti, Savu, etc.)- there's a history of these tubeskirt/dresses on most of them, plus the use of floral motifs in ikat is also prevalent.

At the risk of 'raining on this parade', may I ask why the links are considered pertinent when they refer to Bali, and the piece in question is clearly not from Bali?.

Also, I would think that the use of blood on a textile would attract insects and animals to it, thereby ensuring its destruction rather than preservation.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:13 pm 
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Could it be that the arcane symbols in this piece are no more than a copy of a tourist's t-shirt slogan? Even at the large distance of a photo' I would dare to hazard a guess that this tubeskirt is no earlier than 4th quarter C20th, so it is quite possible that a weaver with a sense of humour or an eye to a sale to westerners could have copied this emblem. When the tubeskirt is worn, rolled down from the top and showing the inside (upside down) I suspect that it reads "KISS ME".As far as the "dyed with blood" story goes, I have a sense of deja-vu with many similar stories surrounding the supposed use of blood on Tapa cloth.I have no doubt that many cloths and textiles used in funerary ritual have some bloodstains, but the use of blood as an original dye is entirely another matter and I must agree with Susan's observations - it is most unlikely!Thanks to all who have contributed thus far, it has been an entertaining as well as informative thread. Cheers, Jim


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:03 pm 
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Bill Hornaday wrote:
I agree that the blood from the deceased story may have been in good faith, although I think it is unlikely. It would be interesting to put together a thread of outrageous claims that have been made by sellers regarding textiles.

Bill


Bill - here is one I and probably many others have heard whenever there is an obvious flaw in a piece. It goes along these lines:

"The weaver believed that only God was perfect and therefore would not dare to make her weaving perfect. Hence the 'flaw' ."

I have heard that from dealers of Navajo rugs, oriental rugs, etc., etc.

Don't know about the "blood dyeing" but I also have heard that about the double ikats from Pagerinsingan.

-John

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:10 pm 
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John

The question is, have you heard about the blood dyeing as being part of legend or as part of fact? A huge difference. When you think of all the origin myths and other legends that one hears of across the spectrum of tribal groups it is quite possible that there is such a myth, firmly believed.

Yes, your 'only God is perfect' excuse for a flaw is a very universal 'reason' offered frequently. Another is that it proves that the item is hand-made as it is not perfect.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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