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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 4:31 pm 
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I am mystified by one of my Iban pua, as it is asymmetric. There is a similar piece, an early 20th C pua in Textiles of Indonesia by Maxwell and Maxwell, ed. for Indonesian Arts Society, Fig. 21, but the book does not provide specific information about its anomaly. I wonder is this only one section of a cloth that was originally intended to consist of three panels perhaps, this being the middle one? Please note that the woven borders (old) suggest that the piece was intended as is. Any idea of where it was made? Which river system, which clan?

Thanks for sharing you knowledge,
Peter


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Peter, How wide is this panel?


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Hallo Mac, width is 62 cm, length 260 cm.

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:07 am 
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Peter, That is about standard width for one panel of a pua. The woven end borders have threads extended on the left selvage but not on the right. This would be the norm if the panel was to be sewn to a mate with the right selvage as the center seam. This probably means that seperate side panels were not intended.

What seems to be unusual about the piece is the lack of vertical stripes and border motifs on the left selvage. Some very large, wide pua, usually from the 7th division, have seperately woven side panels sewn on, producing a 4 panel textile. Usually pua are 2 panels. Don't remember seeing a 3 panel one with ikat motifs. I think pua sungkit sometimes had a central panel with joined side panels producing a 3 panel piece.

I think what you have is half a pua. Perhaps the other half was damaged or two halves were worth more than the whole. I think it rare that a pua would be dismantled once joined to a mate even due to damage. We don't see a lot of half pua but many with stains and damage. I would guess this piece was never joined to a mate for whatever reason.

Where and when you got it might provide clues. It seems to be the browner ENKERBAI dye rather than redder morinda. Could it be from Kalimantan rather than Sarawak?

Best regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Dear Mac,

Thanks for your thoughts on this - and your acute observation.

I have never come across a three panel pua either, be it in the flesh, so to speak, or in literature. I do not know how large the 7th Div. puas are you refer to. This cloth, given its length, would have made quite a large piece if it had been mated with a second panel plus sewed on borders. It remains odd that there are no borders along the selvage, and I find it very strange that, if they had mated it with a similar panel on the right, they would still have been left with human figures sliced in two. I have never seen this before.

Clearly, mysteries remain - also regarding its provenance. I bought it at a neighbourhood auction in Amsterdam in the early 1980's. The most likely history is, that it was part of a Dutch colonial household that was brought to Holland after independence, and disposed of when the owners died. So wether it is from Serawak or Kalimantan is anybody's guess. However, as the cloths from Serawak are fairly well known and this does not look like anything we know from Serawak, Kalimantan seems a fair guess.

I think you are probably right about the dye. The color is a more flat brown than morinda.

Kind regards,
Peter

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 Post subject: Large 4 panel pua
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:44 am 
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Peter, 4 panel pua can be up to 185 cen. wide. See John's post on "serpents and crocodiles" where he posted a pua from the Baleh river system that is 61 inches wide and I believe a 4 panel piece.

Also page 6 of Vernon's post "Pua Kumbu: Sacred blankets of the Saribas Iban" where I posted a 4 panel piece from the Baleh.

On page 16 of "Textiles of SE. Asia" by Robyn Maxwell there is a beautiful 19th C. pua, probably 4 panels, that is 185 cen. wide.

Best regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:37 pm 
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Hallo Mac,
It is hard for me to see if the 'Serpents and Crocodiles' pua is indeed four panels, but given its size I agree that it is likely. Beautiful borders on your Baleh piece! The pua in Maxwell's book certainly als has four panels, and interestingly also has patterns that are sliced in half on the sides, though here it is just the minor patterns that are sliced, not the larger. The size of a panel of this piece is a little smaller, but in the same league as mine. I will keep my eyes peeled for more four panel pieces that might shed light on this piece of mine. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of printed material. Just found a copy of Heppell c.s.'s Iban Art: Sexual Selection and Severed Heads, at the Museum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden - remaindered, for practically zilch. Incredibly rich in background material. If you don't have it, I highly recommend getting it before it shoots up in price.

Best wishes,
Peter

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