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Ikat from Tanimbar, Moluccas, Indonesia

269 Moluccas, Tanimbar

Chest or turban cloth  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Moluccas, Tanimbar
Locale: As yet unidentified.
Period: Early 20th c.
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, coarse
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 73 x 135 cm (2' 4" x 4' 5")
Weight: 345 g (12.2 oz), 350 g/m2 (1.15 oz/ft2)
Design: Characteristic Tanimbarese banded structure and colouration. Widest ikat bands decorated with basic and elaborate breast-beam motifs, elaborate scorpions. (Essentially the same motifs as on PC 266 but with clearer drawing.) Narrower ikated bands on either side of the widest bands have the common 'snake' motif. The dots on either side of the six stripes down the middle protect the desa from attack. The snake and scorpion motifs all protect against bites from the depicted animals.
Comment: Most likely a woman's shawl, sjal, but may also be a man's turban cloth, as such cloths were used for both. Cloth with a warm, rugged feel due to the irregularity of the yarn. All hand spun cotton and natural dyes. Coarse indigo weft. Ex collection J.B. Lüth.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Moluccas and Tanimbar.
Compare: 204 266 269
Literature: Very similar to circa 1900 cloth in Rautenstrauch Joest, depicted in Khan Majlis, Indonesische Textilien, Wege zu Goettern und Ahnen, Fig. 611, which has a similar overall lay-out, the same snake motifs bordering the selvedges, and is described as a possible turban cloth. Also similar to half of circa 1900 a breast cloth, sinune, Fig. 612. Breast-beam motifs in Van Vuuren, Ikat from Tanimbar, p. 149, basic and elaborate scorpions on p. 131.
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