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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

159 Timor, West Timor

Mau (blanket)detail  magnifier

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Amanatun, a rather isolated part of Timor Tengah Selatan Regency; Bokong village or the Oinlasi area.
Period: First half of the 20th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 3
Size: 104.5 x 196 cm (3' 5" x 6' 5")
Design: Centre field decorated with large nested kaif patterns, symbolic of relationship with the ancestors, executed in white on indigo, part of the indigo double-dyed, a practice that is typical for Amanatun. The two striped side panels are predominantly a pale coral-like red, but both also contain white on indigo dot stripes, and a wider ikated stripe with looping hooks in white on indigo. The indigo, oddly, radiates warmth. Twisted fringes.
Comment: Older mau executed in vegetable dyes only. Excellent weaving which brings out the strength of the complex kaif pattern. Beautiful tonality and soft patina. Faint smell of decomposing indigo undergirds age estimate - as does the fact that in the red side panels only vegetable dyes were used, instead of the chemical dyes that have been common in Amanatun and other parts of Timor since the 1960s, and in some areas well before. From old Dutch collection.
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.
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014
Compare: 245
Literature: Similar in main motif and overall layout (though not in colour of side panels) to mau from Bokong, northern Amanatun in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plate 52. Also similar to mau worn by man in Sono on Fig. 70 and in Bokong on Fig. 80, but with more elaborate kaif. Main motif also similar to centre panel on northern Amanatun cloth, Fig. 74 and Bokong kaif on Fig. 77e. Mau of same type seen worn on market of Kefamenanu, a regional hub, in Maxwell and Maxwell, Textiles of Indonesia, Fig. 4. Motifs similar to those on pre-1940 mau in Tropenmuseum, TM-1772-1124.
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