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Ikat from Lakor, Moluccas, Indonesia

110 Moluccas, Lakor

Sarong  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Moluccas, Lakor
Locale: Lolotoara on tiny Lakor, part of the Leti Islands in the South Moluccas.
Period: 1940
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium - plus accent stripes in commercial cotton
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 81 x 126 cm (2' 7" x 4' 1")
Weight: 635 g (22.4 oz), 311 g/m2 (1.02 oz/ft2)
Design: Narrow indigo bands with geometrical patterns and stripes in many colours on bright morinda red field. (Similar to Kisar patterning). Two 3,5 cm wide bands with snaking patterns in white on indigo. Small tumpal motifs ending one side of the main ikated bands. Unusual twill weave, identical to that used on our sarong from Leti in the same archipelago. The coral red overall tonality is also very similar to that of the Leti.
Comment: Handsome sarong from remote island in Leti archipelago. Clean, tight weaving and attractive colours. No similar piece published or encountered in museum collections. Provenance provided by the seller, Verra Darwiko, whose information on provenance is widely considered highly reliable. Microscopy reveals that the weaver mixed hand spun and commercial thread in an unpredicable manner. Some of the very fine pinstripes were done in hand spun cotton, others in commercial thread. The ikated areas were done in a mix of double-ply and quadruple-ply. Weaving was done with a firm hand, producing a cloth that feels strong and sturdy. Impeccable state of preservation. Ex collection Verra Darwiko.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Moluccas and Lakor.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15. Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014
Literature: No known source on textiles from Lakor. No similar piece published or encountered in museum collections. Below, detail of Lakor sarong in collection Toos van Dijk:

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