Galerie Ariana

A hinggi from East Sumba, Indonesia - mid 20th century

A hinggi from East Sumba, Indonesia - mid 20th century

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Textiles: Pre 1970: Item # 1241101

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This is a hinggi from east Sumba, probably dated to the mid to late 20th century. The weave technique is warp ikat, plain woven and hand spun cotton. It measures 132.08 x 274.32 cm and is in immaculate condition. Ikat is a resist-dye method of patterning textiles. Prior to weaving, the maker ties the warp and/or weft threads tightly and immerses them in a dye bath. The tied sections resist the dye. When applied to several sections of threads in a sequence of dye baths, the method creates unique, vibrant and colorful patterns. This textile showcases the horse, which plays a huge role in the life of Sumbanese. Horses are their wealth and centuries ago the Sumbanese were trading their horses to the Chinese for ceramics (see The World of Indonesian Textiles by W. Warming and M. Gaworski, copyright 1981 Kodansha Int'l). The hinggi completes the attire of the Sumbanese horseman by functioning as a wrapper around his waist, which is held up by a wide leather belt, letting the fringed ends dangle between his legs. The textile is dyed with the traditional indigo blue from the young leaves of the indigo plant (indigofera tinctoria) and the prized kombu red from the roots of the mengkudu tree (morinda citrifolia). Both ends are fringed, though one end band at the top is turned over the rod in the catalog photo.