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Ikat from Nusa Penida, Bali Group, Indonesia

129 Bali Group, Nusa Penida

Kain cepuk  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Bali Group, Nusa Penida
Locale: Identification as Nusa Penida in inconclusive. It may also have been made on Bali.
Period: 1950 or before
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, fine
Technique: Weft ikat
Panels: 1
Size: 91 x 232 cm (2' 11" x 7' 7")
Weight: 360 g (12.7 oz), 171 g/m2 (0.56 oz/ft2)
Design: Not one, but two kamben cepuk, still uncut after weaving. Traditional patola inspired design of kamben cepuk, called kamben cepuk padma, padma meaning lotus. According to the reputed Bali-based dealer who sold it, the deep red was achieved by the addition to the dye of sirih (betel) juice.
Comment: Very good example of classic ceremonial Balinese cloth, with beautiful sirih red tonality. A true pusaka, of a kind that is increasingly rare. Minute signs of wear, excellent condition overall. Signed in margin: Sudarma. Note that the use of sirih as dye supplement on Nusa Penida is not known from literature, but its use on Savu and in India is known, see below. Kamben cepuk in uncut condition is rare, the only other examples the author is aware of being the one in Indonesische Textilien, Wege zu Goettern und Ahnen mentioned below and our PC 043.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Bali Group and Nusa Penida.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15. Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014
Compare: 043 124 046
Literature: Gittinger, Splendid Symbols, Fig. 106. Khan Majlis, Indonesische Textilien, Wege zu Goettern und Ahnen, Fig. 323 and p.73. Buehler, Patola Influences, Plate 14. Type description in Nabholz-Kartaschoff's contribution to Völger and Von Welck, Indonesian Textiles, p. 124. Nabholz-Kartaschoff in Gittinger, To Speak with Cloth, Fig. 32, identifies this pattern as typical for Nusa Penida. Franco Brunello, The Art of Dyeing, mentions sirih used as dye in India. Duggan, Ikats of Savu, mentions use of sirih spit as (ingredient in) dye on Savu, p24.
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