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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

224 Timor, West Timor

Bete krao (blanket)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Manulea (Malaka Tengah), Atoin Meto people.
Period: Late 19th to early 20th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Weft ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 116 x 220 cm (3' 9" x 7' 2")
Weight: 1110 g (39.2 oz), 435 g/m2 (1.43 oz/ft2)
Design: Numerous ikated bands and stripes. The wider are decorated with what appears to be a variant of the typically Timorese kaif motif.
Comment: Antique Manulea beti in excellent condition. Remarkable is that it is 'full-asli': hand spun yarn and vegetable colours only. Manulea was one of the Timor regions where commercial yarn was adopted early: nearly all ikat from 1950 and later is done in commercial yarn. Often confused with Biboki cloths, Manulea bete krao can be recognized by the unique touches of blueish green. A thin but heavy cloth. Under microscope textile looks like a jungle of intertwined vines of various diameter.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Compare: 150
Literature: Very similar to pre-1930 bete krao in Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, RV-2197-2. Similar example (detail) in Yeager & Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plate 226. Another similar cloth from this region, but much younger, and executed in commercial yarn, is depicted in Hamilton and Barrkman, ed., Textiles of Timor, Fig. 7-34.
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