Detail View: Museum and the Online Archive of California: Textile; kain sikka; sarong; woman's clothing. Indonesia

Museum and the Online Archive of California
Creation Place: 
Flores Island
Creation Place: 
Creation Place: 
Textile; kain sikka; sarong; woman's clothing. Indonesia
warp ikat
handspun cotton
311.0 cm by 77.0 cm
Current Location: 
Fowler Museum of Cultural History. University of California, Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1549
Object ID: 
- anthropomorphic horse rooster "tumpal" - handwoven warp ikat handspun cotton fabric
REMARKS COMPILED IN 1987 BY ROY HAMILTON ON BASIS OF EXISTING RECORDS, EXAMINATION OF OBJECT, AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE: One loom length of cloth, with warp cut to form fringe. Homespun cotton thread. Natural dyes, including Morinda citrifolia ("kombu" in the Sikka language) and indigo for blue ("tarum"). Even bright accent colors may be natural dyes; the green in this cloth can be made in Sikka using mango bark [Roy Hamilton, field notes, 1985]. Thread count: warp 60 e.p.i.; weft 20 e.p.i. From the Sikka domain, near the town of Maumere in east central Flores. See Langewis & Wagner 1964:plate 10 for an illustration of this horse and rooster motif. Photos of several cloths illustrating the Sikka style can be found in Kahn Majlis 1984:265-268. The various steps of textile production in Sikka are also illustrated in the literature, including spinning [Fischer 1979:37], dyeing [Gittinger 1979:173] and weaving [Fischer 1979:68]. For a general discussion of the distribution of Florinese weaving styles, see Maxwell 1980:141-154. Cloths in Sikka serve as family heirlooms and as marriage exchange goods. Cloths with uncut warps, as they are taken from the continuous-warp back-tension loom are the most highly valued for this purpose. The warp threads of X75.29 have been cut open, forming the fringe and allowing the textile to lay flat in a single layer. Cloths such as this are also made into sarongs in Sikka; the better quality and newer cloths are reserved for best dress occasions, but many women still wear traditional sarongs for every day wear. To make a sarong out of a cloth like X75.29, the cloth is cut in half, then the two pieces are sewn together selvage to selvage, and finally the ends are sewn together to form a long tube. The manner of wearing these sarongs is illustrated in Gittinger 1979:59. The following information is included on the accession sheet [source unspecified, but presumably from Kent Watters]: "The traditional design on this weaving is seldom seen, especially in such clear and well-matched ikatting. The small walking figures in the narrow strip are similar to hieroglyphs and are shown with an abstract bird-like creature. The people in these islands, especially the Roti, have legends of their ancestors coming from Madagascar (this may relate to the horse with the long necks -- giraffes?)." "Tumpal" is the border motif.
Maxwell, Robyn J. 1980. "Textile and Ethnic Configurations in Flores and the Solor Archipelago". In INDONESIAN TEXTILES, Mattiebelle Gittinger (ed.), Irene Emery Roundtable on Museum Textiles 1979 Proceedings, Washington D.C., The Textile Museum.
Collection Description: