Unknown artist, Indonesian; Sumbanese, East Sumba
Cotton; plain weave, warp ikat
Length: 243.8 cm (96 inches)
Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 38.201
The technique of warp ikat, where only the vertical threads are tied and dyed prior to weaving, is the most widespread resist-dye method in Indonesia. The Sumbanese man’s shoulder cloth or body garment, called hinggi, is traditionally blue and white for everyday wear. Polychrome cloth required more skill in dyeing and therefore was worn on ceremonial occasions. The motifs on this hinggi reference daily life in East Sumba where horses figure prominently and are indicators of prestige. The lion and deer motifs also seen here were once reserved for use by the royal family. Nevertheless, the late date of this piece suggests possible production for export.