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 Post subject: Rare old Raijua shawl
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear all,

As there are few Raijua pieces to be seen anywhere (the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne probably has the largest collection in the world, some 25), perhaps you would like to see a new addition to my much smaller hoard of Raijua pieces. It is probably the oldest of the lot, and by far the finest in terms of ikat work. The yarn is very fine, the motifs are executed with great precision in very fine bundles, and the overall impression is of a shawl fit for royalty. I would date it as early 20th C, possibly late 19th. There is no published piece that is very similar, but there are a few that are somewhat similar, and in 2006 at Klefisch two pieces (part of a collection of about a dozen) were auctioned that are quite similar, though not as refined. Needless to say I would love to hear from you if you have additional information on the piece, have seen comparable pieces, et cetera.

Kind regards,
Peter

Attachment:
ikat_170_small.jpg
ikat_170_small.jpg [ 463.06 KiB | Viewed 4654 times ]


PS: My apologies for the photography, which is still provisional. Had no time yet to do a good job on it.

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Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
Peter,

This is probably a HI'I MEA or a WAI MEA. Don't think you gave us dimensions so it is hard to be sure which. It is a sacred textile found on both Savu and Raijua. See the following link for good information on sacred red textiles. http://genevieveduggan.com/savu-ceremon ... d-textiles

Hope I copied and pasted this URL correctly but if it doesn't work just google Wai Mea textiles of Savu and Raijua and you will find the page. I also have several of these textiles from Raijua that I collected way back in the early 80s. As they were made and used for funeral purposes few have come out onto the market and most went to the grave with the people they were made for.

Best regards


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear Mac,

Thanks very much for your information, and for directing me to Genevieve Duggan's page. I had not realized that this might be a funeral cloth - which certainly explains the rarity of the type. This one appears to be unusually long: 62.5 x 195 cm / 24.6 x 76.7 in. Is that more likely to make it a hi'i mea or a wai mea? The seller thought it was the former.

I wonder what caused the loss of the fringes. The man who sold it to me told me that he had on several occasions seen traders in NTT take a sharp knife to cloths and cut off the fringes - perhaps because they had gotten a little frayed and to them looked unseemly?

Kind regards,
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: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
Peter,

Perhaps it is a hi'i mea and the fringes may have been damaged and half missing. By cutting off the ones that remained the sellers may have tried to hide the fact and thought no fringes were better than just a few remaining. The textile looks better in your photo than it did online from the seller. I thought about the piece but the ikat didn't look very clear in his photo. You are lucky to have been able to see the piece first hand and it was a wise purchase. Congrats!

Best regards


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear Mac,

So you saw the piece, huh? You hound! Well, I really had to take a gamble, as the pics were indeed very vague. I just had this tinkling sensation in the back of my neck that this might be something special so I went for it. Thanks for the congratulation, it makes me feel even better about it.

I think that indeed it must be a hi'i mea and that some dumbass felt that cutting frayed fringes off would make it look better. It reminds me of a horrible scene once enacted for me on Alor in '81. I was staying at the old raja's losmen in Kalabahi, sort of holding court every evening as word had got around that I was an orang barang-barang antik. I tried to stamp out this notion, explaining that I really was interested only in kain ikat, but to no avail of course. One evening a young man with a large mound of frizzy hair on top of his head came by and asked if I was interested in a richly decorated moko. I said that this was outside of my line, but that I certainly would like to see it. Next evening he came by with a brightly shining object in his arm which he proudly, and eagerly, presented. Turned out that he had cleaned it with a steelbrush. One of the more painful moments of my life as I had to explain that he had not done me, nor himself for that matter, any favours. Oh well, life alas is full of disappointments, the world brimming with idiots.

Sa├║de,
Peter

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Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


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