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 Tanimbar, Moluccas, Indonesia

204 Moluccas, Tanimbar

Shoulder clothdetail  magnifier

Origin: Moluccas, Tanimbar
Locale: Sermata island, probably.
Period: First quarter 20th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 101 x 137 cm (3' 3" x 4' 5")
Weight: 310 g (10.9 oz), 224 g/m2 (0.73 oz/ft2)
Design: Principal motif is probably anthropomorph, the main motif a combination of male and female figures. Van Vuuren suggest that the two dots at the head of one type represent a woman's comb, whereas the four dots at the head of the other type likely represents the male's multi-element hairdo. The narrow stripes are all decorated with snake motifs. Remarkable asymmetry: the seven clear snakes running in the midfield are unevenly divided: there are three on the left, four on the right.
Comment: Probably a lady's ceremonial breast cloth, shal. Cloth has a well-used feel and has probably thinned a little but is in immaculate condition. Colours are strong, and the quality of the ikat work is at the zenith of the Tanimbar group's bell jar. Note that asymmetry is not very common in the area, but often, respectively nearly always used for men's cloths on Savu, Ndao, Roti and the Ambenu exclave of Timor-Leste. It is also occasionally used on old men's cloth from Kisar such as PC 200. It is not known what asymmetry stands for on Tanimbar.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Moluccas and Tanimbar.
Exhibited: Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Compare: 265 266 269
Literature: Similar to man's undated shoulder cloth from Selaru in Khan Majlis, Woven Messages, Fig. 321. Identical division of the field but with more elaborate patterning in our example. Also similar to shoulder cloth in Fig. 320. For motifs, see Van Vuuren, Ikat from Tanimbar, Fig. 99, 114 and others on P. 141. A sketch based on analysis by Van Vuuren shows the location of the dots differentiating male and female motifs:

Add personal note

©Peter ten Hoopen, 2018
All rights reserved.