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Ikat from Timor-Leste, Timor, Indonesia

236 Timor, Timor-Leste

Tais (sarong)detail  magnifier

Origin: Timor, Timor-Leste
Locale: Suai-Camenaça, Suai-Loro or Camenaša village, Cova Lima District. Tetun people.
Period: Circa 1920
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 70.5 x 145.5 cm (2' 3" x 4' 9")
Design: Tais metan with deeply saturated, almost black, indigo field and two bands decorated in ikat with the traditional baria fuan, bitter cucumber, motif, which is actually a stylized version of a patola jilamprang motif. The ikated bands have borders of warp-float, foit, on either side.
Comment: Rare old sarong from East-Timor. According to Barrkman (see work below), this type of tubeskirt is worn draped over a woman's shoulder when she advises family members and neighbours that a relative has passed away. It may also be chosen for everyday use, as well as at ceremonies. This example clearly was used only sparingly. Excellent state of preservation.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and Timor-Leste.
Exhibited: Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Compare: 237
Literature: Near identical to early 20th C. tais metan depicted in Barrkman's contribution to Hamilton, ed., Textiles of Timor, Fig. 8.22 and 8.23. A much younger and less refined tais is shown on Fig. 8.17, making starkly visible the drop in quality over half a century. Very similar to example made 'five generations ago' (presumably at least 100 years ago) by master weaver Bei Ida, shown in Barrkman, The Textiles of Cova Lima, Fig. 7. Idenfitication of motif as jilamprang emulation, Fig. 8.20, caption. Below: tais metan worn during 'Dança de Cobra' in Suai. Postcard, 1950s.

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©Peter ten Hoopen, 2018
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