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Ikat from Timor-Leste, Timor, Indonesia

237 Timor, Timor-Leste

Tais (sarong)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, Timor-Leste
Locale: Suai-Camenaça, Suai-Loro or Camenaša village, Cova Lima District. Tetun people.
Period: 1935-1950
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 69.5 x 143.5 cm (2' 3" x 4' 8")
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: Very tight ikat work and saturated tones, showing the hand of a master weaver. 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.
Compare: 236
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. 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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