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Ikat from Kisar, Moluccas, Indonesia
 

170 Moluccas, Kisar


Selimut (shawl)detailmicroscope  magnifier



Origin: Moluccas, Kisar
Locale: Probably made by Kisarese mestizos for trade with Flores.
Period: 19th C. or older
Yarn: Cotton, hand spun, fine
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 1
Size: 62.5 x 195 cm (2' 0" x 6' 4")
Design: Seven longitudinal stripes with patterns that resemble patola jilamprang motifs cut in half by narrow stripes. Clearly patola-inspired with finely wrought, elongated tumpal motifs, similar to those found on old Ende men's shawls.
Comment: Old shawl of unusually refined design, masterfully executed in very thin hand spun. The cloth has thinned visibly due to wear, and has a few tiny holes. It undoubtedly used to have fringes, but these must have disappeared due to wear. The endings have been hemmed on the lines of paler colour that mark the end of the field. The overall appearance is of a cloth that has been in careful use for a very long time. This type of cloth is very rare. Hamilton guesses that they were made as shoulder cloths, but may also have been used as hip wraps.
Background: For additional information see chapter on Moluccas and/or Kisar.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15
Published: Woven Languages 2014, erroneously attributed to Raijua, which led Geneviève Duggan to research on Savu and Raijua which ruled out Raijua provenance.
Literature: Very similar to cloth from about 1885 in the Ernst Vatter collection in Museum der Weltkulturen in Frankfurt, NS 65396; a similarity pointed out by curator Von Gliszczynski. Barnes in Ostindien im 20. Jahrhundert shows a similar but stylistically different piece from the Vatter collection on Abb. 148 and speculates that it may be Sikka. Vatter himself thought it was Lamaholot. Very similar also to example in Museum für Völkerkunde in Vienna, described in Hamilton, Gift of the Cotton Maiden, Fig. 2-22, dated as 'before 1887'. Hamilton admits that there is no reliable information regarding provenance, and that people on Flores do not recognise it - possibly because the type stopped being made too long ago. On the basis of the depiction of a similar ikat in the work of Riedel (1886: 405, Plate XXIX, Fig. 6), we consider it most likely that it was made by Kisarese mestizos for export to Flores. See Kisar chapter in Ten Hoopen in Ikat Textiles of the Indonesian Archipelago. Both other cloths still have their fringes, but the design of the example in our collection is more intricate. As intricacy of design is often a good indicator of age, we assume that our example predates the other two.
  
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