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Ikat from Alor, Solor Archipelago, Indonesia

114 Solor Archipelago, Alor

Sarongdetail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Solor Archipelago, Alor
Locale: Village unknown. Lamaholot people.
Period: 1920-1940
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 68.5 x 118.5 cm (2' 2" x 3' 10")
Weight: 735 g (25.9 oz), 453 g/m2 (1.48 oz/ft2)
Design: Indigo and maroon bands with geometrical patterns in ecru and light indigo, alternated with pinstripes in pink, mauve, oxblood - all vegetable dyes, except a few in pale blue that appear to be silk, and are just a single thread wide.
Comment: Rare piece from an island where traditional crafts were stamped out early. Good weaving, on a par with Lembata Ili-Api. Older Alor ikat is rarely seen. To quote Wereldmuseum's Magie van de Vrouw: 'Not much is known about the textiles of Alor, few of which are found in Western collections.' The use of a few pinstripes in pre-dyed silk in the region was observed already by Ernst Vatter in 1928 and ended after World War II when it was no longer available. Tightly woven, firm cloth. Excellent condition.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Solor Archipelago and Alor.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15. Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014
Compare: 166
Literature: Similar to old Alor sarong in Cutsem-Vanderstraete, Magie van de Vrouw, Page 340. Overall treatment similar to one in Khan Majlis, Woven Messages, Fig. 195.
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