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Ikat from Timor-Leste, Timor, Indonesia

189 Timor, Timor-Leste

Beti (blanket)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, Timor-Leste
Locale: Ambenu (Ocusi), the East-Timorese exclave in West-Timor. Unidentified village in the lower elevations, e.g. in Desa Cunha region. Atoni people.
Period: 1925-1945
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 90 x 196 cm (2' 11" x 6' 5")
Weight: 875 g (30.9 oz), 496 g/m2 (1.63 oz/ft2)
Design: Beti naik (man's blanket in Dawan) decorated with two wide and four narrow bands of indigo on white ikat, alternated with bands of stripes in indigo and morinda, and narrow stripes in yellow and green, both faded to a soft pastel tone. (Vegetable green dye used in the area in inherently unstable.) The main motif, called kaif, represents ancestral relationships.
Comment: Rare Ambenu beti naik. All natural dyes. Clearly used for a long period, but well preserved. Textiles from Ambenu are rare due to the enclave's isolation. Loosely twisted fringes. This densely woven cloth weighs almost half a kilo per m2. Very good overall condition, with lovely patina.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and Timor-Leste.
Exhibited: Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Compare: 002 118 169
Literature: Very similar to beti naik from Taiboko village in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plate 194, very to rather similar to Plates 192, 193 - except that ours is done purely in vegetable dyes; very similar to beti from Piotafo village in desa Cunha, Fig. 149. See also Chapter Also similar to a beti warn by a dancer from Soë, Amanuban, photographed by Alfred Bühler in 1935, depicted in Hamilton c.s., Textiles of Timor, Fig. 2.1. Similar beti worn by Timorese man in formal attire on photo, below, from collection Tropenmuseum, 1938, supposedly shot on Flores ('possibly Nggela'), though no such cloth is made on the island, least of all in Nggela. (Note European woman fleeing the shot.)

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