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Ikat from East Sumba, Sumba, Indonesia

018 Sumba, East Sumba

Hinggi (men's blanket)  magnifier

Origin: Sumba, East Sumba
Locale: Praliu Kambera.
Period: 1960-1970
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 123 x 268 cm (4' 0" x 8' 9")
Design: Large brick red dragons and shrimp; alternating white and indigo turtles; white turtles in red boxes; skulls. Midsection with habak motifs A nice warm tinge of akar kayu kuning.
Comment: A beautiful example of Sumba ikat from the modern period. Complex and design, very well executed. The work of a master weaver. The aquatic animals are the prerogative of Sumbanese of noble rank. Textiles such as this are symbolic of the passage to the next world, which is seen as being below water. Note that many hinggi are used as shrouds, and are often woven with this particular use in mind.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Sumba and East Sumba.
Literature: Jill Forshee, Between the Folds, source of information on the symbolic value of aquatic animals: 'Aquatic and amphibious creatures such as shrimp (kura mbiu), crayfish (kurangu), turtles (kara), snakes (kataru), and crocodiles (wuya) relate to noble ranks, denoting qualities such as cunning, bravery, dualistic powers, and transformation to the next world (awangu).'
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