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Ikat from Sikka, Flores Group, Indonesia


049 Flores Group, Sikka

Utang (sarong)  magnifier

Origin: Flores Group, Sikka
Locale: Geliting, Maumere area, Lamaholot people.
Period: 1950
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 63 x 129 cm (2' 0" x 4' 2")
Weight: 650 g (22.9 oz), 400 g/m2 (1.31 oz/ft2)
Design: Sikka sarong with 'free' motif, not intended to denote status or clan membership. Two broad bands in white indigo show birds, probably doves, sitting in a wreath of leaves. Four narrower bands, equally in white on indigo, show flowers, probably roses. Seven narrow bands in pale morinda on pale indigo decorated with floral patterns. Motif inspired by old Dutch crochet designs.
Comment: This type of sarong, with its design of European inspiration, is called a kelang suster, after the Dutch word 'zuster' a common term of address for a nun. A cloth like this with motifs from outside the traditional Sikka canon, usually copied from crochet patterns distributed by Dutch nuns in the early 20th C., may not be used on ceremonial occasions, and is reserved for daily wear. Acquired directly off the wearer at Geliting pasar, near Maumere.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Flores Group and Sikka.
Literature: Very similar kelang suster in Khan Majlis, Woven Messages, Fig. 175. Similar piece also in Hamilton, Gift of the Cotton Maiden. Fig. 7-19.
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