Logo Pusaka Collection
spacer ONLINE MUSEUM OF INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES   CURATOR: PETER TEN HOOPEN  BROWSE FROM:  [RANDOM] [001] [025] [050] [075] [100] [125] [150] [175] [200] [225] [250] [275] [293]

left arrowright arrow

Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

176 Timor, West Timor

Beti (blanket)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Biboki, Insana district, probably Tamkesi area, in the mountainous spine of Timor. Atoin Meto (Atoni) people.
Period: 1920-1945
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 113 x 192 cm (3' 8" x 6' 3")
Weight: 1030 g (36.3 oz), 475 g/m2 (1.56 oz/ft2)
Design: Patola-inspired biboeks'ana pattern, the prerogative of royalty and the nobility. (Though in later decades, after independence, it came into wider use.) The motif is considered very powerful as it is associated with water sources essential for life. While commercial yarns and chemical dyes were adopted in Biboki fairly early on, this piece is 'full asli': made of hand spun yarns, using vegetable dyes only. Very unusual is the asymmetry: the bands on the left are 60 mm wide, those on the right 52 mm, which makes the overall patterning intentionally unstable, goyang-goyang, giving it additional tension.
Comment: Barrkman: 'The first royal biboeks'ana motif is claimed to have been made seven generations ago by the wife of the Neno Biboki ruler, suggesting the motif was created approximately 175 years ago (Taek Berek, pers. comm., 2004). At that time, foreign textiles traded into the region would have been accessible to the ruler’s wife, whose status enabled her to create new motifs. Interestingly, when an image of an Indian patola cloth with Motif X [model for Biboek'sa] was shown to the Biboki Kingdom's ceremonial house guardian, Paoespan’no, he saw it as a copy of his own kingdom’s royal Biboek’sa motif.' The piece is in excellent state of conservation.

Below is a detail of 17th-18th C. chintz sarasa with VOC trade stamp.

Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Exhibited: Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Compare: 177 150 172 216
Literature: See Barrkman, Indian Patola and Trade Cloth Influence on the Textiles of the Atoin Meto People of West Timor, identifying the motif as imitation of patola. Cf. also PC 177. More elaboration on the theme in Ruth Barnes's contribution to Hamilton and Barrkman, Textiles of Timor, p. 105-108; close-up of the motif, Fig. 6.14. Same motif on Balinese mordant print in Bühler and Fischer, The Patola of Gujarat, Fig. 73. Tamkesi provenance suggested by Chris Buckley, who noticed the pattern when he travelled there in the early 21st C. and was told that it was mainly used by families with a connection to the chief's family, though this definition is broad since a lot of families are related in one way or another. Recent cloths all use commercial yarn and chemical dyes. Same motif on sarong in Honolulu Museum of Art, Acc. 10036.1
Add personal note

©Peter ten Hoopen, 2018
All rights reserved.