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Ikat from Kisar, Moluccas, Indonesia

092 Moluccas, Kisar

Senikir (shawl)  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Moluccas, Kisar
Locale: Probably Meher (Kisar speaking) people.
Period: 1925-1945
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, very fine, quadruple ply.
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 1
Size: 88.5 x 271 cm (2' 10" x 8' 10")
Weight: 995 g (35.1 oz), 415 g/m2 (1.36 oz/ft2)
Design: Senikir for nobleman with longitudinal bands of brown and beige ikat on red background. Borders in strong yellow, probably dyed with akar kayu kuning - roots of kayu kuning tree. Highly intricate motifs in the formal style, including meticulously drawn meanders. One of the smaller motifs, hexagonal clusters of ringed open spaces, is similar to the Leti keu motif. Multiple ikated pinstripes. Base-mounted tumpal motifs serve as finials.
Comment: An exceptionally long noblemen's shawl from the colonial period in excellent condition. The type of cloth worn by the current raja of Kisar on formal portraits, though this example is of much greater refinement, and probably greater age. Very finely drawn ikat work. Yarn in ikated bands and stripes is very thin, yet hand spun. Accent stripes in commercial cotton, as was common from the onset of the 4th quarter of the 19th c. to show wealth. [Picture shows a little over 50% of the cloth.]
Background: Additional information in chapters on Moluccas and Kisar.
Literature: Similar to senikir from before 1929 in Tropenmuseum, Nr. 556-103, but with richer decoration: four wide ikated bands rather than two. Also similar to even longer cloth (85x303 cm) in Yoshimoto, Ikat, Fig. 197.
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