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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia
 

181 Timor, West Timor


Beti (blanket)detail  magnifiermicroscope



Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Amanuban or Miomafo.
Period: 1925-1950
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, fine
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 87 x 172 cm (2' 10" x 5' 7")
Weight: 490 g (17.3 oz), 327 g/m2 (1.07 oz/ft2)
Design: Stacked and interlocking humanoid figures, shaped to make them froglike, 'frogmen'. Locally called katak (frog) motif, which represents the life cycle of generations. Curiously, the style of the headdress, with the inward curl, which almost certainly represents the pilu saluf headdress of a meo warrior, is very similar to that on a Sarawak pua, 037, suggesting that this is an archaic motif with wide distribution.
Comment: One of the better examples of the type, with intricate patterns and clear weaving. Almost in 'as new' condition, but smell of decomposing indigo supports creation around 1950. Made in fine hand spun, not immediately apparent, as it was done in tabby weave using double warp and single weft (one weft double weave), giving it a sturdy feel, which 'impersonates' cloth made in coarser yarn. Weaver used double weft for the last few sheds, left a short section of unwoven warp, made one final pass of double weft, then left a longer section of weft before securing the cloth with two rows of twinning, wrapping the warps in groups of three (‘3-span’ twinning).
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Compare: 112 182 005 245
Literature: Motif very similar to Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Fig. 45c. Quote, p. 126, re Amanuban textiles: 'They have been portrayed in textiles books as superlative examples of Timorese ikat.' Certainly seems apt with regard to this piece. Also similar to motif in Langewis and Wagner, Decorative Art in Indonesian Textiles, Plate 17. Somewhat similar to Niki-Niki beti in Van Hout, Indonesian Textiles at the Tropenmuseum, Fig. 8. Notes on weaving technique provided by Sue Richardson.
  
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