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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

258 Timor, West Timor

Beti (blanket)detail  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Niki-Niki in Amanuban most likely, else Insana
Period: 1900-1930
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 102 x 160 cm (3' 4" x 5' 2")
Weight: 710 g (25.0 oz), 435 g/m2 (1.43 oz/ft2)
Design: Blanket, beti naik, in two panels of the type Yeager and Jacobson call 'Multiple Design Stripe Selimuts', which is found in mid-northern West Timor. Numerous longitudinal ikated bands. The two widest of each panel, visually divided in two sections, carry three bird motifs each, two flying inward and one outward. While depictions of roosters and jungle fowl are common in West Timor, especially in Insana, flying birds are represented more rarely, and very rarely as the main motif, here in twelve-fold repetition. Also present are two human figures in orant position and an arched motif of unknown significance. Numerous narrower ikated bands, the four widest of which carry a motif similar to the boda of Savu, which is occasionally seen on Timor ikat, and may well be a stylized crocodile.
Comment: [PHOTOGRAPHY PROVISIONAL] Early men's shawl with exquisite styling, which must have graced noble shoulders. Hand spun cotton, all natural dyes - even the pinstripes - and drawing of a charming naivety. The orant figures are also found in Amanuban, especially in Niki-Niki, as well as in Miomafo. The whites have not simply been reserved in their entirety, but spickled with short bars giving them a pale blue tint. This artistic choice implied a vast increase in the number of bindings. The detailing of the birds' wings, down to showing six feathers per wing, is uncommonly fine. The weaving shows technical mastery: the perfect alignment produces sharp outlines, even at a distance. Since commercial thread came to this region early, the fact that the cloth is made in hand-spun only is an indicator of substantial age.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Compare: 094 132 282 287
Literature: Similar to beti shown in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plate 51, though with very different styling of the bird motif, and probably a different type of birds. Flying bird motif (more sketchy) from Insana on Fig. 49h. Another one, also less defined, from Amanuban on Fig. 50e and 100e. Small crocodile motif, similar to Savunese boda, on Fig. 100e. The drawing style in the main motif is very similar to that on a late 20th scarf from Niki-Niki in the collection of Timor field-collector Aja Bordeville,
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