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 Post subject: Mystery Silk Weft Ikats
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
Greetings all, These silk weft ikat textiles came out in Jakarta over a period of about a year in the late 80s. I had never seen them before on my frequent trips to Indonesia. I collected all of the pieces that I saw during the year or year and a half and have never seen them since. Judging from the colors and the aged look of the textiles I would guess they are from the mid 19th C. before chemical colors became available.

I was told that they were from south Sumatra but as they have no gold supp. weft woven patterns I don't think they are from Palembang or Banka, although they have the beautiful light blue, yellow, green and red colors that are so characteristic of Bangka. Palembang colors are duller and usually only blue, red and sometimes yellow, but very rarely green. Palembang is also characterized by an abundance of gold supp. weft.

Does anyone know of any place else in Sumatra where such silk, weft ikats were produced? Do any members have any textiles like this? They are similar to Cambodian, Lao and Malaysian weft ikats and yet unique. Any ideas, comments or even better a posting of some similar textiles would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, MAC

Oh yes, the silk also seems quite different from the other well known areas. It seems coarser and has less luster than that imported from China. Could it be some kind of locally produced wild or raw silk? I don't know much about different kinds of silk. I do from time to time, however, find cocoons in the woods around my house in Japan. The Japanese call these YAMA MAYU or mountain cocoons (silk). Any help with these textiles would be great! Thanks again :)


Attachments:
c1i0068_silk_weft_ikat.jpg
c1i0068_silk_weft_ikat.jpg [ 84.28 KiB | Viewed 8858 times ]
c1i0071_silk_weft_ikat.jpg
c1i0071_silk_weft_ikat.jpg [ 145.11 KiB | Viewed 8858 times ]
c1i0056_silk_weft_ikat.jpg
c1i0056_silk_weft_ikat.jpg [ 80.3 KiB | Viewed 8858 times ]
c1i0058_silk_weft_ikat.jpg
c1i0058_silk_weft_ikat.jpg [ 109.04 KiB | Viewed 8858 times ]


Last edited by MAC on Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Silk Weft Ikats
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:05 am 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
There is still something wrong with the width of my posts. :( Sorry

[not to worry, all sorted and what gorgeous textiles! Pamela]


Attachments:
c1i0072_silk_weft_ikat.jpg
c1i0072_silk_weft_ikat.jpg [ 72.23 KiB | Viewed 8848 times ]
c1i0074_silk_weft_ikat.jpg
c1i0074_silk_weft_ikat.jpg [ 103.18 KiB | Viewed 8847 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Very beautiful pieces indeed, especially the first. Has the mystery been solved by now? If not, I was wondering, could they be Malaysian? I have seen Malaysian pieces that are similar to kain limar from Palembang and Bangka, though those, if I remember well, also had the the gold songket.

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Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:24 am 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
Peter, Thanks for your reply. I have a number of old, silk, weft ikats from Malaysia as well. However the quality of the silk in these pieces is different. The motifs in the end fields are also unique so I don't really think they are from Malaysia.

The beautiful natural colors are very similar to Malaysian silks of the same peroid, however, and may indicate production by Malay people living in Sumatra----perhaps Riau or Lampung.

These are the only pieces I have seen so the mystery continues. I was told when I bought them in Jakarta that they were from South Sumatra but exactly where was unknown. Best regards


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear Mac,

Your theory could well be correct. Keep in mind that the Lampung area is inhabited by what in literature is always called 'Malay people'. Another hypothesis: they could actually be from the Lampung area, made by people who simply could not afford gold thread. But then, somehow that does not feel right... I shall keep them in mind (not all that difficult) and will let you know if I run into something similar either in a collection or in literature.

Enjoy,
Peter

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Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:52 pm
Posts: 15
Dear MAC,

It's great to see your posts on Malay ikats - thanks very much. I was recently offered this silk ikat and was told that it was from the Komering region in southern Sumatra. The cloth would seem to belong to the same group as your silks and I hope this attribution helps.

I know what you mean about a similarity to Cambodian silks (particularly with the striped end borders) and while there is some investigation into the links between Cambodian and Malaysian east coast weavings I've seen quite a lot of silks from the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula and I'm quite certain your cloths, and the one I was offered, aren't from there.

I also have a different group of Malay silk ikats and had thought they were from Komering (although I've also been told of a different origin for them) - would those be of interest to see and appropriate to post in this thread?

Kind regards,

Jungleboy


Attachments:
Komering Limar. detail..jpg
Komering Limar. detail..jpg [ 103.32 KiB | Viewed 7145 times ]
Komering Limar (High x Med).jpg
Komering Limar (High x Med).jpg [ 60.43 KiB | Viewed 7145 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
Dear Jungleboy, I am so pleased to see your post. I had almost given up on finding someone else with similar textiles. Indeed your piece seems very similar to mine. I have a few textiles that were said to have been produced in the Komering area but they are cotton and have brocade patterns. Like Riau there doesn't seem to be much information about the textiles of Komering and I must admit that I don't know much about the area or its textiles. Anything you could add would be greatly appreciated.

Any further information or other textiles that you would like to post would be most welcome. Perhaps you could start a new post on Malaysian textiles and I could add to it. I recently added a Malaysian limar to my collection. I believe it dates to the first half of the 19th century as it has all natural colors and extremely clear, intricate ikat and gold brocade ends. The smallest ikat blocks in the textile are only 5 or 6 threads wide. It was described by the seller as being from Thailand which again shows that information provided by sellers must be considered carefully and weighed against the characteristics of the textile itself.

Looking forward to further posts from you.

Best regards


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
Hello all,

Having gone back to the National Gallery of Australia and looking again at the textiles from Lampung, I believe these textiles are from the village of Putih Doh. Many of the textiles from Lampung are from the collection of Robert J Holmgren and Anita Spertus. Jeff and Anita collected many of the textiles in situ so we have the names of the villages where they were collected. There are several silk, weft ikat, ceremonial shoulder cloths in the collection that are attributed to Putih Doh village. They are called Sangai Limar or Kumbut Juangga. Some are all ikat and some have silver thread, brocade ends.

One textile is attributed to Kalianda, where it may have been collected, but is so similar to others from Putih Doh and dissimilar to others from Kalianda that it must surely have been made in Putih Doh. I am posting the Kumbut Juangga from Putih Doh and the Kumbut Juangga attributed to Kalianda but probably made in Putih Doh as these two pieces are most similar to mine and jungleboy's.

Jungleboy thought our textiles might be from Komering just to the north of Lampung. There are a number of 19th C. Komering, silk, weft ikat and brocade textiles in the NGA collection. Most have striped center fields and are not really that similar to the textiles we posted so I feel we can rule out Komering. Jungleboy might have a look and then perhaps tell us what he thinks or even post one of the Komering textiles for comparison.

Anyone interested in Indonesian textiles should have a look at the collection of the National Museum of Australia as it is one of the finest viewable online.

Best regards


Attachments:
File comment: This is the 19th C. Putih Doh shoulder cloth most similar to mine
NGA, Ceremonial Shoulder Cloth  Kumbut Juangga, Putih Doh, Lampung.jpg
NGA, Ceremonial Shoulder Cloth Kumbut Juangga, Putih Doh, Lampung.jpg [ 92.02 KiB | Viewed 7115 times ]
File comment: Ceremonial Shoulder Cloth, Attributed to Kalianda but probably made in Putih Doh. 19th C.
NGA Kumbut Juangga, Kalianda, Lampung.jpg
NGA Kumbut Juangga, Kalianda, Lampung.jpg [ 89.51 KiB | Viewed 7115 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:52 pm
Posts: 15
Hi MAC,

Firstly, congratulations on your detective work! The textiles from the NGA's collection that you've posted are pretty certainly from the same location as yours. (btw, I don't have a piece from this family of cloths - I declined the one I was offered as it wasn't a particularly good example and the price was a bit silly.)

I think you may have reasonably located the source of your cloths but the location does, of course, raise further questions: who wove these cloths; who used these cloths; what tradition of weaving do they belong to etc?

I searched "Putih Doh" on the NGA website and came up, frustratingly, with "0 results". A search for "kumbut", however, came up with two other Putih Doh cloths (#27933, #27937) and I found another on the site (without image; #2776). While these other three cloths do not have the designs of yours there is now a group of five cloths (four attributed to Putih Do and one to Kalianda) of which one is said to have been made by the Pasisir people, one by the Paminggir people, two just attributed to "Indonesia" and one to the Malay people.

Putih Doh is very much in the centre of Lampung rather than on the periphery and I had thought that the traditional peoples of Lampung were the Abung, the Kauer and the Paminggir peoples. I'm not knowledgeable enough with Malay history to say whether there was an isolated Malay court, community or weaving centre located in this area that isn't normally associated with the Malays and would be interested to hear from anyone else if they do know.

If these cloths weren't made by the Malay people then were they part of a textile tradition made by the, say, Paminggir people even though they are so vastly different from the cloths we now associate with the Paminggir people? (One might think this unlikely though Maxwell does briefly discuss silk weft ikat cloths in the Javanese context which we normally associate with batik.)

I think Sumatra - and, perhaps, the south in particular - is just so complex. (I'm often told by suppliers that a cloth comes from A which is "somewhere between" B and C; Komering is not only a region north of Lampung but there also appears to be two villages with Komering in their names that lie well within Lampung etc) I think a huge amount of field research needs to be done (where it is still possible) and it will be a long time before we have a clearer picture of most of the textile traditions of Sumatra.

Holmgren, Spertus and Maxwell have an immense amount of knowledge and while the NGA's collection (particularly with the addition of the cloths from the H&S collection) is formidable, but I do have my reservations about the NGA's website which I don't think is nearly good enough given the importance of the collection.

The best way to gain more information on these "Putih Doh" cloths might be for you to write to Holmgren, Spertus or Maxwell if you know any of them well enough, MAC.


J'boy


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:52 pm
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Location: sydney
Hi Mac/J'Boy

There is an excellent review of languages/dialects in the Lampung region in this paper by the linguist Charlie Hanawalt written in 2006:
http://www-01.sil.org/asia/philippines/ ... ampung.pdf

It provides a map of the three dialects/languages [their status is debatable] of lampungic, as attached.

Chris


Attachments:
lampungic from Hanawalt 2006.bmp
lampungic from Hanawalt 2006.bmp [ 428.8 KiB | Viewed 7008 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:52 pm
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Chris,

Thanks so much for that!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:41 pm
Posts: 36
Location: London, UK
I have picked up this long-running thread as I am currently travelling in Sumatra where so many of these weft ikats were made.

I recently handled this weft ikat (songket limar) from Palembang. It shows a border motif that Linda McIntosh has described as the 'cockspur' motif. I have also added an image of an Indian Trade cloth from the Corommandel Coast traded to the Thai court (taken from Linda's new book 'Southeast Asian Textiles'). Both textiles display the same type of border motif as the images that have been posted in this thread. The pattern on the body of the textile is distinctly Tai/Khmer rather than Malay from Sumatra or Malaysia, and directly copies the motifs on Indian trade cloths. These patterns in turn are replicated in Sumatra and Malay songket patterns.

I would like to comment this is a distinctive 'Malay/Tai' motif which was much part of the Malay textile tradition of the coastal regions of southeast Sumatra and east coast Malaysia, spreading up to the Tai people of Southern Thailand where weft ikat was woven.

The Indian trade cloth would have been made in India to meet Tai taste and ordered especially for the Thai market in the 18th-19th centuries and possibly earlier.

Lesley


Attachments:
Indian trade textile Coromandel Coast for Thai market_McIntosh Southeast Asian Textiles.JPG
Indian trade textile Coromandel Coast for Thai market_McIntosh Southeast Asian Textiles.JPG [ 241.41 KiB | Viewed 6664 times ]
Palembang Kain songket limar.JPG
Palembang Kain songket limar.JPG [ 150.06 KiB | Viewed 6664 times ]

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Lesley Pullen, London
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