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Ikat from Lio, Flores Group, Indonesia

045 Flores Group, Lio

Lawo (sarong)  magnifier

Origin: Flores Group, Lio
Locale: Probably Nggela.
Period: 1950
Yarn: Cotton, commercial, fine
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 74 x 166 cm (2' 5" x 5' 5")
Design: Lawo mogha in morinda red, indigo and morinda overdyed with indigo. Field and widest ikat band decorated with patola-inspired patterns. Second widest band, foko, includes a taboo diamond pattern, mata bili, reported to represent the vulva, symbol of fertility, which may only be used by qualified, mature women.
Comment: Impressive, and large, sarong with intricate patterning in extremely fine ikat: some elements are only three [sic!] threads wide. Ex collection Pamela Cross. The mata bili pattern is similar to the pattern called buffalo eye (Ind. mata kerbau) in Kodi, West Sumba. It is unclear if there is any relationship between the two. The cloth has a soft, oft washed feel. A rare piece with a few tiny spots of wear, but overall in very good condition.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Flores Group and Lio.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014
Compare: 099 082 203 022 086
Literature: Nearly identical sarong in Hamilton, Gift of the Cotton Maiden, Fig. 10-8.
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