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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

157 Timor, West Timor

Mau (Blanket)

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Amanuban: village of Pusu, Lakat, Ofu or Naime hamlet in desa Nule
Period: 19th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium - plus accent stripes in commercial cotton
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 3
Size: 58.5 x 195 cm (1' 11" x 6' 4")
Design: This unusually proportioned, asymmetric, men's wrap has the typical Amanuban 3-panel construction, with an intricately decorated centre field paired off with striped multi-color borders in which reds and yellows set the tone. The largest motifs are horses in mirrored opposition, their feet touching. Other zoomorphic motifs include birds, presumable chickens or cocks. Numerous small patches of embroidery in silk: most in the form of small stars, the larger ones eight-pointed start built up of key-motifs
Comment: A piece of great power, both visual and spiritual. The high contrast produces a powerful dramatic effect. The uncommon proportions (it is about two-thirds the width of the average Amanuban) set it apart from the ordinary. The bold styling marks it out as leader's attire. Sumptuary laws have ruled most of the island communities. Only a man of substance could pull this off. Timor ikat of this age and eloquence is rarely seen. The cloth is slightly 'battle scarred': there is a small rip in one of the side panels with an old repair. Some of the tightly twisted are missing. The ikated field however is immaculate.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Literature: According to Yeager and Jacobson in Textiles of Western Timor, p. 133, in Amanuban the horse motif is found only in the villages listed above. Motifs similar to those in Fig. 101a-e. In terms of drawing style and visual impact the motifs are similar to those on a young (1980) mau from Amanuban on Plate 99, but in bolder, more contrasting colouration. Also similar to Amanuban mau on Plate 97.
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