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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

112 Timor, West Timor

Mau (blanket)  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Amanuban, largest of the old Atoni kingdoms.
Period: Circa 1910
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 90 x 195 cm (2' 11" x 6' 4")
Weight: 695 g (24.5 oz), 396 g/m2 (1.30 oz/ft2)
Design: Six rows of nested rhomb and hooks motifs motifs, alternating between four in a row and three plus two halves. Numerous small zoomorphic motifs, almost certainly representing crocodiles, serve as fillers in the spaces between the rows. The rhomb and hooks motifs, tanduk, are similar to kaif motifs - representing links to the ancestors - reduced to their most basic shape, with only eight external hooks, and no internal hooks. This design type, with ikated motifs covering the entire field and no borders, is most commonly seen in the Niki-Niki region.
Comment: Archetypical Amanuban beti in good condition for its age. The weaver, as was often done in the early 20th c. Ambenu, was not content to simply leave the reserved motifs white, but spickled them with short indigo bars so that they appear pale blue - a stylistic choice that required a vast amount of extra work: well over 2500 additional bindings. Slight local fading on one side only, various light smudges, but no holes or tears, and colour still deeply saturated. Ex collection Rita and René Wassing-Visser.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Compare: 181 182 005 245
Literature: Though the pattern is instantly recognizable as Amanuban, and for that reason here called archetypical, few close cognates were found in literature. The closest is a mau being woven in Amanuban Timur, shown on a photo in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Fig. 94. A rather similar example, also from Amanuban Timur, is shown in the same work on Plate 79. Another fairly similar early 20th c. piece in the Tropenmuseum collection, TM 2301-20, has a field divided into wider and narrower bands rather than a unified field.
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