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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Location: UK
Go on I can take it, I got it cheap . I am still trying to find a good piece. 3m long not including the tassels. Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Well, I would say it was made in Sumba. The ikat - motifs and colours - and the end twining weave all 'speak' to me of Sumba. I think it is probably a tourist piece. It is based, I suppose, on a hinggi but seems to be very narrow. The hinggi is woven in two pieces from the same ikat thread - one piece worn by a man on his lower body and the other piece worn as a shoulder cloth. It looks about half (or depending on size, a quarter) of the width of one hinggi piece.

In 'Decorative Arts of Sumba' (catalogue of Sumba textiles in Museum voor Volkenkunde - Museum of Ethnology, Rotterdam, 1999 ISBN 90 5496 050 7) p41 there is a photo of a piece of weaving (East Sumba) in the loom described as: 'Dragon motif from Chinese porcelain' which is very similar to the 'beast' at both ends of your textile.

On page 42 Jill Forshee, in her essay in the catalogue on 'Unfolding passages: weaving through the centuries in East Sumba' writes:
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"Indeed, a factor in the marking of high status for the Sumbanese has long been evident through various trade links and alliances with foreign powers. For centuries such associations occurred involving Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, and Chinese traders, as well as people from other islands of the Indonesian archipelago. As emblems of particular and prestigious alliances with outsiders, East Sumba adopted motifs from such powers into its own royal regalia. In this way, foreign regal symbols such as the Dutch coat of arms, patola designs from Indian trade silks, and dragons from Chinese porcelain were borrowed, innovated upon, and incorporated into Sumbanese aesthetic fields. In turn, such symbols became a part of local traditions, while embodying a certain flux."


You might be interested in this thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?p=4973 on textiles from Sumba

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:11 am 
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Quite so, but a delightfully eclectic sampler of the borrowed designs mentioned in the book excerpt. Maybe the Dutch crowned lions are now out of style. Also, it appears to be very neat ikat work: that archaeopteryx (bird) and the smaller tone-in-tone little blue ones.
The less said about dye colors of the selvedge and end weaving the better, which are unusually broad.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:41 pm
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Location: Formerly Taipei -Taiwan, now Shanghai - China
The Chinese symbols we can see here:
-the dragon standing for high authority, the strength, the water, the yang energy
-the phoenix standing for the empress, the ying energy, the air
-the pearl or the moon symbolizing the truth, the water, the treasure that is the wisdom, but also the immortality as the moon is reborn every month.
-the snake, also called the little dragon, whose changing skin make it a perfect symbol of eternal rebirth or immortality.
All these are very Chinese symbols but, above all, they are typically taoist symbols !


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:00 am
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Location: Santa Cruz Bolivia
Would it be possible to see a close up of image 032? I would like to take a closer look at twining if possible as I am studying weft twining at the moment. Maybe you could email me a heavier photo. I would very much appreciate it.

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 Post subject: Twined or Woven?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:43 am 
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Hi all, 30 some years ago, on a visit to East Sumba, I seem to remember seeing a man making one of these end borders. If I remember correctly, he was using some kind of small, narrow loom. I only saw this work being done once so it may be an exception rather than the rule. The loom was about three feet long and a little wider than the border. I don't think it was a backstrap loom but had some kind of frame to hold tension on the warps. If I remember, he was holding it on his lap. I was just getting interested in textiles at the time and didn't really know much about what I was seeing.

I seem to remember that he was inserting the warp threads of the hinggi cloth by hand, as the wefts for the border, and beating them in with a small beater. I don't remember how he was opening the shed but was surprised that the weaving was being done by a man and not a woman.

Could it be possible that in East Sumba these end borders may be woven rather than twined? Is there some way to tell by looking at the finished product if it has been twined or woven? Has anyone else seen this work being done or does anyone know of any books with photos showing it? Some close-ups of this border would be most interesting.

Best regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:59 am 
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You would certainly be able to tell if you had the textile in hand as, in twining, the "wefts" are twisted. One "tell" in twining is that the "stitches", for want of a better word, are slightly slanted. You can also tell twining by looking at diagonal lines in a motif. Because of the slanting in the weft wraps, diagonal lines will appear quite different depending on which way they are slanting. I really can't get a close enough look at this piece to see what is going on.

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 Post subject: Other Thoughts
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:14 am 
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Location: Japan
Honeydarling, How wide is this piece? It seems to have damage on one end with the end border missing. If that is the case, I wonder if it is an older piece and not something new for the tourist market. Tourist pieces are usually sold right away and so are in very good condition.

The colors look natural and there is a lot of light blue, extra tieing work. The ikat patterns are clear and complicated and it has that extra wide and intricate end border. I wonder if the threads are commercial, thin and regular or handspun and a bit rough and uneven? They look a bit uneven in the first close-up photo.

In the late 70s there were a couple of foreign dealers in Bali who were buying up Sumba. They made regular trips to Sumba and were friends with some of the rajas. They were pumping lots of money into Sumba and getting many rare and old textiles and other items such as beaded betel bags that only the royality had.

On several ocasions, at their place in Bali, I saw half a dozen or so old, rare textiles that may relate to your piece. They were about 30 or 40 cen. wide and 3 or 4 meters long. I forget the Sumbanese name for them but they were said to be a type of armor which the raja wore wrapped around his upper body.

After seeing these old pieces I saw a few somewhat newer pieces a couple of years later and then never saw any more of this type of textile. I don't think there were many of them and I can't recall ever seeing any published.

It seems like new tourist pieces made for runners and table centers were shorter and often had woven patterns rather than ikat patterns, which require more work and time to produce. I think the colors were often dabbed on to the motifs after weaving was completed, again reducing work and production time.

Your piece has nice colors, good ikat and that extra wide, patterned end border. It just seems to be too long, too nice and too well made to be a new tourist piece. Am I seeing right in your last photo that one end seems to have damage and be missing the end border?

Anyway, you have a lovely textile and these are just ideas and food for thought.

Best regards, MAC


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