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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

137 Timor, West Timor

Tais mane (blanket)detail  magnifier

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Malaka, Belu Regency, Tetun people
Period: 1960-1970
Yarn: Cotton, about 95% hand-spun
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 103 x 205 cm (3' 4" x 6' 8")
Design: Tais mane, man's blanket. The two wider design bands are decorated with Marobo-style bok'fa motifs, which were influenced by an ancient type of patola that found its way to Timor, but to few other islands. Numerous narrow ikated stripes with small geometric motifs, separated by pinstripes in red commercial thread. The intricate bok'fa motif used to be restricted to the clan's meo attire, worn by warriors and headhunters, and was supposed to provide the wearer immunity. This original significance has ensured its survival and continued prestige.
Comment: Finely executed piece, all hand spun, all natural dyes. According to Yeager and Jacobson this style was introduced to desa Kaletek and neighbouring areas in northern Malaka region by refugees who fled East Timor around 1912, and perpetuated by their descendants. Style similar to that of the Suai and Cova Lima regions in East Timor. The cloth is a little askew - curious as the ikat work with the finely executed bok'fa motifs and the myriad tiny elements is of a very high standard. Pieces like this are highly valued at the source and rarely make it to the west.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014
Compare: 286
Literature: Very similar tais mane in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plate 216. Bok'fa motif and its origin described in Barrkman, Indian Patola and Trade Cloth Influence on the Textiles of the Atoin Meto People of West Timor. Also very similar to piece in Yoshimoto, Ikat, Fig. 192. Note the similarity to Covalima men's cloth PC 286, the result of migration flows westward from the Covalima region to Malaka.
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