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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

149 Timor, West Timor

Beti (blanket)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Insana, North Central Timor.
Period: 1940-1960
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 3
Size: 104 x 235 cm (3' 4" x 7' 8")
Weight: 920 g (32.5 oz), 376 g/m2 (1.23 oz/ft2)
Design: Characteristic Insana design with wide middle panel in plain dark indigo flanked by two panels with scores of narrow stripes each and a wider central band with linked kaif motifs in white on indigo. What sets this cloth apart from most Insana beti is the intricacy of the kaif motifs.
Comment: Cloth for Insana nobleman. The work of a master weaver. Excellent ikating with exact alignment and beautiful coloration. The kaif motifs are uncommonly intricate for the region - which is the more impressive given the great length of the warp (235 cm, nearly 8 ft), which makes alignment very demanding, and fine detailing a challenging undertaking. Twisted fringes. Immaculate state of preservation. This beti must have been used only on rare occasions, and is far older than it looks. Faint skatol smell of decomposing indigo marks it as a cloth of advanced age. Remarkably similar to a rare type of aristocratic men's shawl from Covalima in Timor Leste, the tais halai haran, such as PC 293.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15. Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Compare: 081 095 133 293
Literature: Very similar to beti in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plate 143, but with more elaborate ikat work and decades older. Also similar to our PC 081, but with richer design.
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