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Ikat from East Sumba, Sumba, Indonesia

096 Sumba, East Sumba

Hinggi (men's blanket)  magnifier

Origin: Sumba, East Sumba
Locale: Rende.
Period: 1960-1970
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 107 x 270 cm (3' 6" x 8' 10")
Weight: 1100 g (38.8 oz), 381 g/m2 (1.25 oz/ft2)
Design: Hinggi kawuru for kabisu, nobility. HInggi pahudur. Named not after largest motif, but after most important: andung, skull tree, Large naga, dragons, with flowing forms, ayam, roosters, and buaya, crocodiles. Pagi-sore: top and bottom different. Coloured in two shades of indigo. Ikated kabakil, borders. This unusual piece shows the lower world, represented by pohon andung, skull trees an crocodiles; the middle world, represented by roosters and flying birds, possibly garuda, serpents; the upper world represented by ular galar, winged serpents or dragons.
Comment: Warrior's hinggi in two shades of unusually intense indigo. Excellent weaving with perfect alignment of the smallest details. While hinggi done in indigo only are the only kind that commoners, this piece was clearly made for a nobleman. The design is rich in in complex detail, intricate and perfectly executed flowing shapes, and both the dyeing and weaving and are exemplary. The two tone indigo creates a level of depth, especially because the darker parts are very dark indeed. Such perfect curves and diagonals are very hard to achieve, hence regarded as high class. Noblemen would often prefer to wear one of these, rather than the traditional morinda hinggi, because of their association with burial. In the view of Steven Alpert this hinggi was made by an old school weaver full of daring and imagination, willing to grapple with magic.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Sumba and East Sumba.
Exhibited: Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Published: Orientations Vol. 46/2014
Literature: Background information on royal use of this type in Adams, Classic and eccentric elements in East Sumba textiles, p. 14.
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