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Ikat from East Sumba, Sumba, Indonesia


234 Sumba, East Sumba

Hinggi (men's blanket)

Origin: Sumba, East Sumba
Locale: Rende.
Period: Early 20th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, fine
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 102 x 234 cm (3' 4" x 7' 8")
Design: Entire field decorated with patola-inspired patola ratu motif.
Comment: [PHOTOGRAPHY PROVISIONAL] Masterpiece of ikat weaving, most likely from Rende of Kenatang given the refinement and intricacy of its patterning: a patola-inspired design, patola ratu, reserved for royalty. An established traditional type, though rare. While we often see patola ratu in the midsection (the part that touches the shoulder) of hinggi, it is far more rare to see the pattern extend over the whole cloth. The earliest known of such true 'patola hinggi' date from the late 19th, but use of pattern is probably much older as it is a direct emulation of Gujarati patola, which began to enter the courts of Indonesia in the mid 17th, when the VOC imported them in intentionally limited numbers to buy the loyalty of local chiefs. Transverse woven border, kabakil, and twisted fringes. Immaculate state of conservation with all colour preserved, fully intact.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Sumba and East Sumba.
Compare: 193 219
Literature: Patola ratu motif design very similar to early 20th hinggi in Khan Majlis, Woven Messages, Fig. 209., though here field is broken by two lateral bands decorated with horses. Note that this motif appears to be emulated in our old Timor cloth from Amanuban, PC 235.
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