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Ikat from Luang, Moluccas, Indonesia

091 Moluccas, Luang

Lawar (sarong)  magnifiermicroscope

Origin: Moluccas, Luang
Locale: Probably Oirata people.
Period: 1925-1940
Yarn: Cotton, hand-spun, fine - plus pinstripes in commercial cotton.
Technique: Warp ikat
Panels: 2
Size: 62 x 139 cm (2' 0" x 4' 6")
Weight: 515 g (18.2 oz), 299 g/m2 (0.98 oz/ft2)
Design: Numerous narrow bands with small geometrical patterns. Two 5 cm / 2 in. wide bands with naive rimanu motif in white on indigo, reserved for aristocracy: human figures with raised arms, human figures on horseback, snakes, birds, probably probably cocks, manu. Base-mounted tumpal motifs serve as finials.
Comment: Pattern typical of high caste. Very clear weaving, ikat bersih betul. Identification of a cloth as either Kisar or Luang takes care, as the main motifs, such as rimanu, and smaller patterns, such as snakes, are very similar. However, on Kisar the background colour in the widest bands with ikat decoration is morinda, in shades from dark red to brown, whereas (according to Khan-Majlis) on Luang the background tone is indigo. This observation is confirmed by De Jong and Van Dijk, see reference. All ikat work was done in hand spun yarn; red stripes in doubly ply commercial thread; pinstripes, one and two threads wide, in very fine pre-dyed thread, probably the silk which was on the market before World War II. Immaculate condition.
Background: Additional information in chapters on Moluccas and Luang.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15. Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, 2017.
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014, Carpet Collector 4/2014, Orientations Vol. 46/2014
Compare: 101 102 103 272
Literature: Very similar Luang lawar in De Jonge & Van Dijk, Forgotten Islands, Fig. 8.4. Similar cloth in Tropenmuseum, Tillman collection, and in Yoshimoto, Ikat, Fig. 198. Similar motifs on man's shawl, also dated 1925 in Duggan, La Fibre des Ancêtres, Fig. 32. Another similar cloth in Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Object ID 1998.76, though with smaller figures and less ikat work overall, identified as Kisar.
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