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Ikat from West Timor, Timor, Indonesia

282 Timor, West Timor

Beti (blanket)

Origin: Timor, West Timor
Locale: Amanuban, largest of the old Atoni kingdoms.
Period: 1930-1950
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, medium
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 78 x 192 cm (2' 6" x 6' 3")
Design: Archetypical Ambenu beti, richly decorated with ikat. The widest ikated bands carry a variant of the kaif motif - which stands for connection with the ancestors. The kaif are arranged in two sections of four repeats per panel; the sections as usual are separated by a plain indigo band in the middle where the warp ran across the warp beam and could not be ikated. Very similar to Ambenu beti PC 265, though symmetrical rather than symmetrical, marking this example as Amanuban rather than Ambenu.
Comment: [PHOTOGRAPHY PROVISIONAL] Older Atoni men's blanket of remarkably rich design, and very clear ikat and softly rounded curves - the hallmark of a master weaver. Whereas the Atoni often used plaint band and strips in between the ikat bands, here such used is extremely limited: even most of the pinstripes were ikated. Hand spun yarn, vegetable colours. This kind of cloth - without pre-dyed commercial thread - went out of fashion early. It may well be on the older end of the indicated age range as the cloth has a faint smell of skatol, the result of decomposing indigotin. Excellent condition, with strong colours.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Timor and West Timor.
Compare: 002 118 169 189 256
Literature: Very similar to circa 1920 Amanuban beti in Khan Majlis, Indonesische Textilien, Wege zu Goettern und Ahnen, Fig. 461. Also similar to beti from Taiboko in Ambenu (across the border in Timor Leste) depicted in Yeager and Jacobson, Textiles of Western Timor, Plates 192, 193, 194. Curiously, also similar to a tais from Ainaru, Timor Leste, shown on the website of Timor Aid, TA0039.
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