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Ikat from Roti, Roti Group, Indonesia

180 Roti Group, Roti

Pou (sarong)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Roti Group, Roti
Period: Early 20th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, fine
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 4
Size: 62 x 180.5 cm (2' 0" x 5' 11")
Weight: 580 g (20.5 oz), 259 g/m2 (0.85 oz/ft2)
Design: Pou dula bunga. Top and bottom decorated with patola-inspired motifs in white and brick-red on dark, nearly black indigo ground. Mid section with black and brick red bands. The weaver has woven her name, Henderika Medah Rika, into one of the narrower bands. The spelling of the Christian name is a variation on the old Dutch name Hendrika. Presumably Medah means daughter in one of Roti's eight languages, but this has not yet been confirmed. The use of the Latin alphabet is talismanic, believed to protective by association with Christianity.nity.
Comment: Weavers on Roti, on Savu, in the Lio region of Flores and in parts of Timor (perhaps elsewhere as well) would sometimes weave their names into their cloths, to show off their literacy. The sarong has been constructed of four panels rather than the usual three: the central section with the brick red stripes is not of a piece but divided in the middle, one half forming part of the second panel from the top, the other half part of the second panel from the bottom. Very fine double ply hand spun thread, two threads in parallel.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Roti Group and Roti.
Exhibited: Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Compare: 014 127
Literature: Similar to pou in Khan Majlis, Woven Messages, Fig. 242, except that this piece, rather unusually, consists of four panels rather than three. On talismanic use of Latin script see Maxwell, Textiles of Southeast Asia, p. 365.
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