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Ikat from Sarawak, Borneo, Indonesia

140 Borneo, Sarawak

Pua kumbu  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Borneo, Sarawak
Locale: Baleh river system, Iban people.
Period: 1950
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, coarse
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 101 x 176 cm (3' 3" x 5' 9")
Weight: 595 g (21.0 oz), 335 g/m2 (1.10 oz/ft2)
Design: Two panels with large human figures, representing spirits, antu, their hands raised, wearing feather headgear and ear pendants. The borders at the extremities probably represent lizards.
Comment: Striking imagery comes into its own by good weaving. One side has lost much of its colour presence, the other appears somewhat faded but is still visually strong and attractive. Soft, well worn feel. All hand spun yarn, all natural dyes. Both warp and weft were done in double ply, with threads not twined but running in parallel. (Note the similarity of the human figures with those on some Sumba cloths, down to the shape of crown and ear pendants. See cloth 22.)
Background: Additional information in chapters on Borneo and Sarawak.
Literature: Similar in style, main motif, and coloration to pua in Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Leiden, inventory nr. 5018-4. Also similar to pua in (former) Museum Nusantara, No. S3425-122. Border pattern identified as lizards, Chaddon c.s., Iban or Sea Dayak Fabrics, Plate XIIf and g. From old Dutch collection. Origin determined by Vernon Kedit.
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