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Ikat from Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia

247 Sulawesi, Toraja

Seko mandi (shroud)detailmicroscope

Origin: Sulawesi, Toraja
Locale: Ronkong or Galumpang
Period: 1930-1945
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, fine
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 126 x 172 cm (4' 1" x 5' 7")
Design: The design is dominated by two rows of four large lozenges executed in morinda on the natural ecru of the cotton, separated by a row of smaller lozenges in light blue. The outlines of all lozenges are accentuated in black, created by overdying morinda with deeply saturated indigo. As the blue design elements were done in fairly light indigo, it is likely that the overdyeing was done in a separate dyeing process.
Comment: [PHOTOGRAPHY PROVISIONAL] This shroud was woven with quadruple weft and triple warp (not twined, but threads running in parallel). While the cloth has no side panels and thus makes an obvious candidate for categorisation as a 'revival' piece (post 1960), the cloth has an early 20th C. feel and appearance. There are no signs that side panels have ever been attached. Microscopy shows unambiguously that the cloth was woven with hand spun thread. We have yet to establish when hand spun died out in Rongkong, but that must have been quite some time ago, almost certainly well before the end of the colonial period.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Sulawesi and Toraja.
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