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Proceedings of The International Conference on Traditional Textiles of Indonesia: Today and In The Future

National Museum of Indonesia Jakarta, November 21-22, 2007

Edited and Compiled with an Introduction by Jonathan Zilberg, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Preface Opening Remarks Introduction: Notes on Irwan Tirta and Concrete Steps in Developing Batik as National Culture Jonathan Zilberg Another Kind of Conservation: Revitalization of Minangkabau Songket Bernhard Bart Design Metamorphosis in the Ikat Cloth of East Nusa Tenggara: East Sumba Hinggi Motifs. Past, Present and Future. Biranul Anas Conservation, Display, and Storage Techniques for Indonesian Textiles in South Australia Kristin Phillips The Nagas Breath: An Introduction to Motifs and Organic Production of Lao Traditional Silk Textiles Mdame Kommaly Chantavong and Melody Kemp Durable Traditions: Inspirational Textile Legacies in Stone in the National Museum of Indonesia Jonathan Zilberg Traditional Ikat and Textiles of the Dayak Benuaq in East Kalimantan Herwig Zahorka Oral Tradition, the History of Ikat Woven Designs and Traditional Curatorial Practices Novia Sagita Concluding Remarks Suwati Kartiwa 95-105 3 4









It was a great pleasure to hold this fifth in a series of international textile conferences at the Museum Nasional Indonesia in Jakarta in 2007. The goal of this particular conference was to again discuss and share experiences about traditional textiles in Indonesia today and in the future. We are enthusiastic about how these proceedings add to the The International Conference on the Diversity of Nusantara Ikat Weaving (2003). This next conference in 2007 considered Indonesia textiles more broadly especially including batik, songket and ikat. It provided us with a view of the past and present towards the future and documented something of the challenges as well as the vibrancy of our diverse textile heritage. We are grateful to the Indonesian Heritage Society for assisting in the conference and for bringing together these proceedings in this form. Special thanks go to the 17 presenters and the committee members from the Museum Nasional. I sincerely hope that this publication will provide a meaningful record of the conference itself and stimulate future such publications, to stimulate improved management and preservation of textile collections in Indonesia. Ideally it will provide students and others to develop an ever deeper interest in the meaning and history of our textiles. In addition, it will be useful for individuals working in the textile industry in that it contains information which could be used to improve the quality of their products in order to support the governments plan for supporting creative industries and increasing exports.

Dra. Retno Sulistianungsih Director, Museum Nasional Indonesia

Remarks and Official Opening On behalf of the Government of Indonesia, I welcome our distinguished guests to the Museum Nasional. Traditional textiles are a manifestation of local wisdom and local culture and they should be further developed so as to be better recognized nationally and internationally. Indeed, textiles are an essential part of the history of human civilization and do far more than fulfill peoples basic needs. They are the living vehicle for traditional technologies and an integral part of our traditional culture. The constant changes in our world influence creativity such that our past informs out present and thus future. In an effort to review and manage the understanding of traditional textiles so as to enhance the cultural heritage of Indonesia, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism welcomes and fully supports this international conference to bring forth local wisdom and develop creative industries for the benefit and prosperity of our people. Indeed, textiles enhance national pride and national identity and should be better appreciated by all levels of society. This conference can thus play an important part in our efforts to preserve and develop traditional textiles. Assalum Alaichum Wahibrachatu Drs. Hari Oentoro Drajat, MA Minister of Culture and Tourism by Director General of History and Archaeology

Introduction Jonathan Zilberg These collected papers from the international conference Traditional Textiles of Indonesia: Today and Tomorrow held at the National Museum of Indonesia on November 21 and 22, 2007 represent one of the many ongoing collaborative efforts between the Indonesian Heritage Society and the Museum Nasional Indonesia. This was the fifth international Indonesian conference on textiles, the first having been held in Jakarta in 1994, the second in Jambi in 1996, the third in Bali in 1999 and the fourth in Cisarua, West Java in 2003. Significantly, this collection adds to the publication produced after that last conference, The International Conference on the Diversity of Nusantara Ikat Weaving (Museum Nasional 2003). We hope that it will provide further impetus for a tradition of providing a record of the proceedings of these conferences so as to share the results of the research with scholars, lay people interested in Southeast Asian textiles and particularly with those creating and producing the textiles themselves. The content of the following proceedings is organized in the same sequence as the conference itself and each paper is preceded with the authors original abstract. All of the presentations have been included except for those by Thomas Murray and Sandra Sardjono, Bridgit Wallach, Aryandin, Melody Kamp and Fiona Kerlogue. The conference was opened by Drs. Hari Oentoro Drajat, MA Minister of Culture and Tourism by Director General of History and Archaeology with the opening keynote speech given by Iwan Tirta, an elder statesman for batik and innovator and producer in his own right. Tirta set the tone for the conference by providing a highly personal overview of the historical development of batik as a national culture, an important discussion considering Indonesias current diplomatic initiative to have batik declared as a UNESCO heritage icon (duly achieved in 2009). Tirta described how batik has been politicized so much so that with the current drive for export and interest in creative industries there is currently discussion underway to introduce legislation which would formally make batik the national dress. He described how batik has been thought to have been produced in Indonesia since the time of the Kediri kingdom in 13th century and how batik had been used first in Java and then Sumatra as a form of court dress with highly symbolic motifs indicating the wearers rank in the court hierarchy. Today, as he continued, many provinces are attempting to invent their own batik traditions at the risk of neglecting their indigenous weaving traditions. He criticized the lack of knowledge about batik amongst Indonesians producing and wearing the cloth and provided some insight into the facts for instance that each character in the Mahabarata and in the wayang shadow puppet lays wears a distinct pattern reflecting his personality, character and temperament. For instance, the figure of the high priest from Cirebon wears white cloud pattern batik outlined only in indigo as these symbolize chastity and thus purity, something which he emphasized is not documented in the literature. Interestingly enough, Irwan Tirta took a highly critical and arguable controversial stance towards younger designers who simplify patterns for todays market and argued that the fashion industry does not understand the essence of batik. This in ironic as it was Tirta himself who was the designer who had originated this tactic of simplifying complex batik into bold patterns separated by plain space that stand out at a distance. It must be said that though in his opening remarks he emphasized that quality is disappearing and while that may be the case in certain

sectors of the market, if anything the leading batik workshops have long been creating stunningly refined batik. Moreover, a less Catholic approach to quality is necessary to understand the practical dimensions of the mass versus elite market and sufficient recognition of the strong revival well underway across the entire archipelago and particularly across Java. Indeed, as some of the papers in these proceedings document, and as the substantial audience commented upon, the commercial incentive and the different market sectors, if anything is providing a diverse, competitive drive rather than the opposite. All this makes the expanding batik industry specifically, and the textile imdustry in general, an enduringly fascinating area for research. Speaking very much for the continuance of the elite court tradition, Tirta expressed his personal feelings about the ever more rapidly expanding batik industry. He argued that the industry needs to be reformed in his vision of the old court traditions of Central Java. Yet to the contrary, highly refined textile revivals have for many years been underway and are fast gathering across the archipelago. Batik of the highest quality as well as affordability are easily available and sought after by both Indonesians of all classes, and by foreigners either resident in Indonesia or visiting as tourists and collectors. Tirta also criticized the claims being made by Malaysians on batik and batik designs. He proposed that the solution is for Indonesia to become more proactive about supporting, protecting and nurturing batik, so much so that he proposed that the Bandung Institute of Technology should create a chair in batik studies. In addition, deeply critical of museums, particularly in terms of management, curation and education, he called for the professionalization of Indonesian museums and the opening of a costume museum. By and large his comments were a call for action. Thus inspired by Tirtas opening speech, a vibrant discussion followed. It began with Ibu Kartiwa noting that the first step is to know about the history and the philosophy of batik and that education is needed for this as Tirta had emphasized. Moving the discussion onto specific textile related issues, Suzie Johnston from Bali commented upon kain panjang and its potential for revival. Tirta answered in his characteristic and personal way: A beautiful custom. I was invited to Mangkunegoro. At my age, I was thinking about logistics. Its difficult to run to the loo if you are my age! In a hotel, it is different. You can still run while wearing a batik with pleats but that way of wearing cloth was suitable for an age and era, when you could just sit there and look beautiful. Try sitting in a car with a dagger in your back. You have to sit at the tip of seat. Perhaps someone can invent a costume that is beautiful and practical! The discussion then turned to keeping the philosophy and design of batik alive with an emphasis on efforts towards sustained research and documentation, particularly in Yogyakarta. Tirta emphasized that there was no shortage of talent but a lack of Indonesians with the capacity to document, analyze and write about batik and other traditions. He noted that the new museum in Pekalongan is working towards improving the situation and to this end Asmoro Damais is requesting book donations to improve its library. Tirta added that it is important that even women in the village write down their stories as once they are gone, it is gone. In this, he praised the Indonesian Heritage Society for its work saying: You are the ones who are supposed to save things! The next question concerned the future support of the textile industry. As the audience member said: Youve made a survey of shortcomings and a plan for moving forward to understand history and design. But who is responsible for moving forward government, private industry or public organizations? Its all well and good to talk about short comings and plan to revive the traditional industry but how? To this Tirta answered: The private sector is more useful and helpful. Kadin has helped the museum in Pekalongan and supports all their

exhibitions. In addition, Kadin is trying to make ambassadorial residences abroad showcases for Indonesian art and artisans. We have to rely on private sector and young patrons rich enough to support the industry. For instance, there is to be a batik summit in April next year, funded by private money, but as usual we will have the problem of being asked to organize a huge conference with two weeks notice. Indeed, such issues of planning and management remain a major source of difficulty facing Indonesian museums. The next comment from the audience noted that in Holland there is revived interest and activity in such things and that this indicates the importance of the next generation taking a more active interest in textile heritage. Tirta answered with yet another characteristic comment considering the very high quality and price of textiles for sale in the new up-market gift store in Grand Indonesia - Alun Alun: The new generation is energetic, but they have no money though Mari Pangestu is a patron and willing to underwrite such efforts. Alun Alun is a showcase but is a glorified bake-off. The problem there again is that the owner claims to have the best batik for sale, but they do not have a strong, knowledgeable team of buyers. It is like having a painting by Picasso next to an unknown artist. They dont know what they have, the young buyers do not know and no one gives them refresher courses. To be fair, though this is Iwan Tirtas view, it is important to note for the record that these are highly partisan views by one esteemed elder member of the Indonesian batik community. It is certainly the case that one can buy the highest quality batik at Alun Alun from each of the top named batik producers and in any event we are all one large family of batik lovers with our personal individual preferences for particular styles, designers and other textile forms as well as our individual judgements as to which of those designers works are of quality. Finally, Ibu Kartiwa, concluded the keynote speech by thanking Iwan Tirta and emphasizing that first one has to have an understanding of the essence of batik and of Indonesian textiles in general and then pass on the philosophy and history to the next generation. On that note, ending this introduction with gratitude to all and especially to Ro King for having gainfully recorded, transcribed and collected the papers and power points from each of the participants, it remains to thank the National Museum of Indonesia as always. I personally hope that the simple compilation of these proceedings for the Indonesian Heritage Society, the Museum Nasional and the participants will play a small but important part towards the longer term emerging record of the complexities of the revivals and development of Indonesian textile traditions. Finally, I thank each of the contributors who chose to provide their papers to the organizers which has resulted in their inclusion in these proceedings.

Another Kind of Conservation: Revitalization of Minangkabau Songket Bernhard Bart Museums are the keepers of tradition, of history. They collect objects considered to be important to testify to the cultures of the past. Otherwise, not only the object would be lost, but also the knowledge about it: about the object itself and about its traditional values. Many of these objects are offered to the museums, often with very little background information or none at all. So, a lot of time has to be invested for research about these objects some times too much time and meanwhile the tradition has been lost before it could be fully investigated. The Studio Songket ErikaRianti that I founded two years ago has a different approach. We try not only to preserve the knowledge of tradition, but also the tradition itself and we try to bring it back to life when it has been lost already. Of course, this would not be possible without the "keeper" work of the museums, where I could get a lot of information about old Minangkabau songket textiles. Years ago, when I saw the richness of the old songket textiles, the fineness of their material and the complexity and variety of their patterns and compared them to the poor quality textiles available on the market, I knew something had to be done in order to keep alive the knowledge about this old artistic handicraft. This work was initiated not only by the poor quality textiles available on the market, but mainly by the beautiful old textiles I could admire at museums, and above all by the acquaintance with Hajah Rohani of Tanjung Sungayang and a couple of Balai Cacang, Payakumbuh. These three weavers still knew about the traditional way of songket weaving and were living proof that it was still possible to weave songkets of high quality. Songket weaving in West Sumatra almost completely stopped with the Japanese occupation in 1942. After Independence, the production started again, mainly in Pandai Sikek, but the fineness and extreme variety of the old motifs was never reached again due to the loss of know-how of the old techniques. Too much time had elapsed and the knowledge about traditional patterns and pattern arrangements was already almost lost. To illustrate this, take the following example: The original selendangs from Pitalah have a patterned selvage, mostly showing the motifs paku gerai (ripples of fern), saluak laka (interwoven rattan) or saluak barantai (interlocking chains), batang pinang (trunk of pinang palm tree), bada mudiak (fish swimming upstream) and saik galamai (ceremonial cake). The principal motif in the border often is the balah kacang gadang (large split peanut) and usually the motifs in the border are not separated by stripes of the ground weave. The body is empty except for a few small diamond shaped patterns adjacent to the border. Most motifs from Pitalah are still woven today. They have been taken over by weavers from other regions, especially from Pandai Sikek, but they have been very much simplified and there is usually no pucuak rabuang (bamboo shoot) or another dominant motif in the border. And whilst in Pitalah (as said above) the cloth was structured and only the borders showed motifs, in Pandai Sikek the whole cloth is patterned and no typical arrangement can be seen. This was the

situation I encountered when I came to West Sumatra in 1996 and started investigating Minangkabau songket weaving. Only three types of songket were still woven: the Pitalah patterns by the weavers in Pandai Sikek, the kain basa hitam (a typical cloth of the region Sungayang, Batu Sangkar) by Hajah Rohani, the last weaver in Tanjung Sungayang and the selendang gaba (a typical cloth of the region of Payakumbuh) by the last two weavers in Balai Cacang. But where was the abundance of patterns once known in all regions of the Minangkabau country? Where were the typical patterns once woven in, for instance, Muaro Labuah, in Padang Magek or in Koto Gadang? Pattern Templates I began to collect data about Minangkabau songket the patterns, the pattern arrangements, the materials used wherever and whenever I could. At first, the main task was to photo-graph the old patterns and to transform them into computer patterns which could then be used as templates for the weavers. Up to now, more than one thousand old Minangkabau textiles (woven before World War II) have been photographically documented and more than eight hundred patterns have been computerized and are ready to be woven again. The degree of difficulty a weaver encounters in weaving a songket cloth depends on the number of different supplementary weft threads its patterns consist of. In Koto Gadang, where the most sophisticated motifs and most intricate patterns were woven, patterns of up to 180 different supplementary weft threads existed, and the pucuak rabuang motif consisted of 80 to 100 different pattern threads. After Indepedence, when people in West Sumatra resumed weaving (especially in Pandai Sikek), the patterns have been simplified and the biggest ones reduced to about 35 different pattern threads only as it happened, for example, to the once dominant pucuak rabuang motif thus making the hand picking easier and speeding up the weaving process. For the same reason it became routine to weave the cloth with its right side up in the loom. Nowadays, patterns with about 5 to 20 different pattern threads are most common and a comb of usually 30 to 35 reeds per inch is used. ErikaRianti in its efforts to come as close as possible to the original has its looms equipped with combs of 35, 38 and 40 reeds per inch, according to the fineness of the threads. To draw a parallel: in Pitalah combs of up to 35 reeds per inch were used, in Koto Gadang combs of up to 43 reeds per inch (for a fully patterned cloth), in Batu Sangkar and in Payakumbuh combs of up to 48 reeds per inch (but only for a sparsely patterned cloth).

A New Technique Since the hand weaving of such refined patterns is very time-consuming, it was essential to find a way to quicken the weaving process. For the customer, the long time spent on weaving a cloth is no longer affordable and the weavers themselves cannot afford it and are no longer ready to invest so much time on one single cloth. Therefore, a time saving system, a weaving technique formerly not known in Indonesia, had to be introduced: the pattern saving system used in Laos, the pattern heddle (karok motif). A system to save the hand picked warp ends for the supplementary weft has been known to the Minangkabau weavers for a long time. But this system is limited in two ways. Usually, the weaver saves the hand picked warp ends with a thin palm leaf rod (lidi) in the back part of the warp. A normal loom has the capacity of saving 60 to 80 lidis. It is possible to save significantly more, over 500 lidis, as it is seen in Silungkang, for example. But this can only be done when the warp is lengthened, up to four meters or more. This method is neither efficient nor economic since it requires more room and additional manpower. The other thing is that, even though half of a symmetrical pattern can be saved and the opposite half can be woven with the help of the saved warp ends, the same warp ends have to be hand picked and saved anew, whenever the pattern is repeated. The vertical pattern heddle system is based on the same principles as other saving systems and is still done by hand only. Even when a pattern heddle is used, the motif must just as well first be hand picked with a bamboo blade (bila pancuki). The paper template of the motif is drawn in such a way that the warp ends can easily be counted by the weaver. A hand picked motif is saved in the pattern heddle as follows: the string heddles which are connected with the warp ends passing over the sword are pulled forward, the ones which are connected with the warp ends running underneath are pulled backwards, thus creating an opening in the pattern heddle corresponding to the shed in the warp. In this opening a pattern string (occupying less space than a lidi) is placed in the upper part of the vertical heddle system and fixed at its frame. This procedure is repeated for each motif line until the whole motif is saved. For a symmetrical motif as, for example, the saik galamai (which has a rhomboidal form), only half of it has to be saved. With the aid of the pattern heddle the other half can now be woven: with the last pattern string the opening in the string heddles is made. The front string heddles are then raised by hand, thus raising the corresponding warp ends in order to obtain the shed in the warp to enter the shuttle with the pattern thread. The used pattern string is placed in the lower part of the vertical heddle system. Again, this procedure is repeated until the other half of the symmetrical motif is woven and all pattern strings are put in the lower part of the vertical heddle system. To repeat the motif the process is done vice versa. It is sufficient to hand pick and save only half of a symmetrical pattern in order to weave it repeatedly according to the design of the cloth. Motifs have to be saved only once and can then be woven again whenever wanted without it being necessary to hand pick them anew. A pattern heddle can even be stored away and later put on the loom again to be used for another cloth.


In a vertical heddle system with a length of 80 cm, about 250 to 300 pattern strings can be stored, which is very useful when complicated (e.g. round forms) and complex motifs consisting of more than 50 different supplementary weft threads have to be saved. The motifs of a whole cloth with up to 300 different supplementary weft threads can be saved in one pattern heddle. Hence, the two limitations described before are eliminated. The vertical pattern heddle is a unique solution to save very efficiently the hand picked warp ends and to quicken the whole weaving process. Working with a pattern heddle is a great help to the weavers. They save a lot of time and can, therefore, concentrate better on the weaving process; this enables them to turn their attention to the improvement and refinement of the songket motifs, thus improving the quality of their work. Another thing that had to be introduced or rather re-introduced, since it was done this way in earlier times is, that the cloth is woven with the reverse side up in the loom. This requires higher skills from the weavers since they have to work with a negative image of the motif and do not see all its threads. The scattered (bertabur) patterns on a cloth are clearly circum-scribed when woven with the reverse side up. When woven with the right side up, the loops which form upon turning the weft thread are seen on the right side and the outer lines of the patterns are blurred. To avoid this problem, in Pandai Sikek most of the songkets are woven balapak, that means with continuous pattern threads reaching from one side to the other. Or even the scattered patterns are woven with a continuous weft (as in Silungkang), so that long floats are seen on the reverse side of the cloth. When you look at old songkets from Koto Gadang and at songkets woven by ErikaRianti, you see that the weft thread on the reverse side spans not more than 6 to 7 reeds. Expert Weavers Artistically talented and expert weavers are absolutely necessary for Erika Rianti's project. In other weaving centres the weavers know their repertoire of motifs and only a few skilled weavers are able to copy old patterns relatively accurate to the original. A weaver is doing both, saving as well as weaving. At Erika Rianti, only the best weavers carry out the hand picking and saving of the motifs. The other weavers are solely weaving and, therefore, can concentrate on the complicated motifs and can comply with the higher technical requirements, such as weaving with the reverse side up and with the finer comb. Materials Minangkabau songket is brocade composed of a ground weave of silk, cotton, ramie (Boehmeria nivea) and other natural fibres and the pattern weft of metallic thread in gold or silver or sometimes of differently coloured silk. In the Minangkabau region this brocade was known as kain makau (Makau cloth). The name songket is from Malayan origin and in use only since World War II. Makau is a former Portuguese seaport in South China. I assume that in this town or nearby a centre of production of metallic threads existed (besides Surat in India) and the


brocade cloth was named after it because the best quality of metallic thread was imported from there. According to Jasper (1912) nine different types of metallic threads were obtainable in West Sumatra. Looking at his list, we notice that they can be classified in a group of cheaper (2.5 - 4.74 guilders) and a group of more expensive threads (11 - 15 guilders). I think that the cheaper ones were imported from India (Surat in Gujarat) and the more expensive ones from China (Makau). The price difference is explained easily by the different ways of production. The metallic thread produced in India usually has a core of yellowish cotton or sometimes of yellowish silk. Metallic, gold or silver coloured, thin strips (approx. 0.2 - 0.3 mm) of copper alloy are wrapped S-wise around this core. The metallic thread produced in China has a core of yellowish or of reddish silk and only occasionally one of cotton. Paper lined with real gold-leaf is cut into strips of approx. 0.6 - 0.9 mm which are then wrapped Z-wise around the core (Indictor, 1999). To vary the colour of the gold and to make the expensive material last longer, the wrapping was not joined closely together but with some space in between. On account of the costly precious metal and the painstaking way of production this thread was of course more expensive than the one from India. Because of its superb quality benang makau (thread from Makau) has become a synonym for metallic thread, even though only thread from India is used today. The import of benang makau and probably its production as well ceased with the cultural revolution in China (1966-69). It is difficult to say when the thick gold thread used today appeared on the market. Two or three dealers in Singapore have the monopoly and the same thick thread is used everywhere in Indonesia: in West Sumatra and Palembang as well as on Kalimantan and Bali. The latest development is a so-called "gold thread" with a core of rayon wrapped with gold or silver coloured polyester. Erika Rianti has found its own sources and imports very fine metallic threads directly from India and from France. Today, all metallic threads from India and France have a Z-wise wrapping. For the ground weave cotton, silk or ramie was used; today many synthetic materials like polyester and rayon are used as well. First, Erika Rianti tried to use processed silk from Indonesian production but delivery was very unreliable and often not possible. Now, we purchase raw Tunggal silk which is processed on the premises, or Chinese silk thread already processed. Nevertheless, the difficulty to obtain threads (metallic and silk) of the same high quality as in earlier times makes it hard to produce an exact replica of an old cloth. We are still searching for ramie, abbacca (a banana plant) and other natural fibres. Economy History has had its impact on the traditional songket weaving in West Sumatra. As mentioned before, with the Japanese occupation one or two generations of weavers were lost; the knowledge about patterns and techniques was no longer handed down from generation to generation. Later the ATBM (alat tenun bukan mesin) was introduced which is not suited for songket weaving. Then there were several economical crises and today the market is flooded 12

with cheap Thai songket. Indonesia is just beginning to recover from the economical crisis of 1997. Yet, the financial situation of a country is very important for a project like the one of Erika Rianti. People have to have the financial possibilities and have to be willing to spend a little more on such high quality products as Erika Rianti is producing in order to keep alive the traditional handicraft of songket weaving. Adat The uniqueness of the old traditional Minangkabau songket lies therein that every motif contains a philosophical meaning using a symbol taken from nature. Yet, used in another region, the same motif serves just as an ornament. Thus, the Minangkabau songket is a medium of cultural wisdom. At ritual processions and traditional ceremonies, the songket cloth is very important. It does not serve as clothing only for the participants of the ceremonies, but through its meaningful motifs it also shows the function and status of its wearer within the family and within the clan of the community. Minangkabau songket is a form of art and at the same time a medium of communication to convey the message of the adat (social structure and codes of behaviour) ruling the life of the Minangkabau people. According to Bagindo Fahmi (2005), a well known Minangkabau cultural observer, every motif has three meanings: a literal, an implied and a hidden one: tersurat, tersirat, tersuruk. To illustrate this, let's take a closer look at the motif itiak pulang patang (ducks going home in the afternoon): the ducks walk home in a straight line, none of them straying from that line. Obviously, this is a symbol of discipline and obedience, of following the teachings of the adat. This is the literal meaning. The implied meaning is explained by comparing ducks and people: in the morning, when the ducks are hungry, they stray in all directions, each one by itself, searching for food. In the late afternoon, when they had their fill, they walk home together. Human beings behave in the opposite way: in difficult times they look for friends and partnerships, they ask for help from other people, but when they are successful they pursue their way alone, not wanting to share their success. Very few people still know that there is a hidden meaning behind this motif, as explained by Bagindo Fahmi: the Minangkabau people ought to behave like the ducks. In difficult times they have to leave their home in search of a better life, each one on his own. This is called pergi ke rantau (to migrate), a very common feature in Minangkabau society. Having been successful they return to their community or at least support it. This can best be observed at Hari Raya Idul Fitri (day of celebration after the fasting month Ramadan), when it is a must for every Minangkabau to return to the mothers house - a custom called pulang basamo (going home together) - and/or send financial help to the community. The community of the ducks is very strong, and so is the Minangkabau society. Another interesting motif is the simple pattern bada mudiak (fish swimming upstream). This usually is interpreted as a symbol of courage and determination, since it requires courage to swim against the current. Also, the fish are doing this in a swarm, which obviously means that difficulties can be overcome more easily by acting together as members of the commu-nity. This 13

is the literal meaning. But what is the reason the fish are swimming upstream? On its way to the sea the river gets contaminated, therefore, the most clear water is found at its source. This implies that in order to solve a problem you have to find and examine its source. This is the implied meaning. However, very few old Minangkabau people still know that there is a theological meaning hidden behind these values, namely that in the search truth, you have to go back to the supreme source which is the truth of God. There is a danger that the knowledge about these meanings is getting lost. People might have no connection any more to the significance of the Miangkabau songket motifs and not only the knowledge but the tradition itself will be lost. When motifs are no longer woven, meanings are no longer known and then tradition itself is no longer alive. Conclusion Templates of old patterns, improved techniques, expert weavers, the right materials, a prospering economy, a strong adat all these requirements have to be met in order to revive and further develop the traditional handicraft of songket weaving at the same high level. When I started this project together with the Studio Songket Erika Rianti, the purpose was to prove that it was still possible to produce songkets of the same high quality and as fine and complex as they were woven centuries ago. Having reached this goal, yet another task is to create fashionable, contemporary and high quality songkets still using the traditional Minangkabau motifs, thus bringing their philosophical meaning into a modern context. As long as the adat is the basic foundation of the daily life of the Minangkabau people, as long as certain textiles are worn at certain occasions, and, above all, as long as people are conscious of the meaningfulness of these textiles, our conservation concept can be successful and the art of weaving sophisticated Minangkabau songkets will endure. Bibliography Jasper J. E. and Mas Pirngadie: De Inlandsche Kunstnijverheid in Nederlandsch Indi, II: De Wefkunst, p. 23. 'S-Gravenhage, 1912. Bagindo Fahmi: Personal communication to Alda Wimar, Padang, 2005. Wimar, A.: Mengamati Sebentuk Motif, Mencermati Untaian Makna Filosofi. In: Bart, B. (ed.): Revitalisasi Songket Lama Minangkabau, pp. 27 - 49. Padang, Penerbit Studio Songket ErikaRianti, 2006. Indictor, N.: Metallic Threads in Minangkabau Textiles. In: Summerfield A. and J. Summerfield: Walk in Splendor, pp. 201 - 237. Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum, 1999.


Design Metamorphosis in the Ikat Cloth of East Nusa Tenggara: East Sumba Hinggi Motifs. Past, Present and Future Biranul Anas
Abstract Throughout its history Indonesias traditional textiles has always been under constant change in many of it aspects. Aesthetical, functional, and technological aspects, features that determine the appearance of the textiles, were perpetually modified and altered, sometimes partially or in many cases entirely and radically, in endless variations. Batik is one monumental example, especially those from the north coast of Java, but it happens elswhere as well, from the songkets of West and South Sumatera, the gold thread embroideries of Lampung, the prada fabrics of Bali, the doyo weavings of Kalimantan, till the ikats of East Nusa Tenggara. Internal culture, for centuries the only offspring of the existence of traditional textiles has in recent times seemingly given way to another powerful fenomena, the external market. Since then many traditional textiles has been transformed from fabrics solely made for serving the customs of its makers e.i. the local community, into paraphernalia for the outside world. One outstanding example can be found in the ikats of East Nusa Tenggara, in particular in a textile that functions as a part of a mens traditional attire called hinggi. Produced in the north coast region of the eastern part of the island of Sumba the hinggi has been through a century of changes in design, theme, technique and function, especially in the three latter decades of the 20th century due to the rise of Indonesias international tourism at that time This article will discuss the changes in the aesthetical features of the fabric which reciprocally affects its utilitarian and technical aspects.

Hinggi of East Sumba-techniques and functions Hinggi is one form of material culture of East Sumba traditional art product that is important in the aspect of both spiritual as well as secular life. Hinggi takes the form of a sheet of cloth, a rectangle measuring 250 x 120 cm and is made by the warp ikat technique, which is used for designing motifs of cloth by dyeing bundles of cotton threads where certain parts are covered with a dye blocking medium. In the local Sumbanese language, it is referred to as hondu hemba (hondu=ikat; hemba=warp). The main materials consist of manually spun cotton threads and natural dyes. Finally, while in East Sumba the ikat weaving technique is used for making various kinds of traditional cloths, it is mainly used for making hinggi. Hinggi has a central position in the customs and traditions of the East sumba people, placing the cloth to have both symbolical and practical functions. Both functions are interrelated as shown through its different uses, both in religious context as well as the socio-economical ordinance within the communities. In this context, hinggi is oriented to the customs and traditions of East Sumba and with regards to this paper it will be referred as to as the traditional hinggi or hinggi. Referring to the views of Gittinger (1990) on the cultural roles of Indonesian


textiles, the existence of traditional hinggi in East Sumba culture is concerned with its multiple functions as apparel, a symbol of prestige, a ceremonial object, a present in the gift exchange system, and a communication media for conveying messages. Besides those functions, hinggi also functions as a media for aesthetic expression (Anas, 2006: 145-8). Considering its most important function as apparel, hinggi is the main component of mens traditional clothing. For this function, hinggi appears in a pair of identical sheets of cloth, one is wrapped around the hips and the other is slung over the shoulder. The complete traditional suit is worn when people go to important events, such as wedding, and burial ceremonies, or agricultural harvesting celebration. The function of hinggi as a symbol of prestige is seen in the context of gender and social hierarchy. It is symbolically related to supernatural powers (marapu) and reincarnation, namely descendants of the aristocrats (maramba). Considering also the strict traditional requirements in the weaving process, all these features has made the hinggi highly valued, at the same time, also confirmed the distinguished status of its owner. In this context, the high status given to hinggi departed from the customs and traditions in East Sumba, placing cloth in the realm of women. Woven cloths represented the ability and responsibility of women, in developing the idea, social ordinance, production process, as well as the end products. Therefore, woven cloths, including hinggi, symbolize the dignity and wealth of women, both morally and materially (Anas, 2006: 133). Hinggi has two adhering functions in the gift and exchange system, namely in their connections to traditional ceremonies and as materials for exchange with the necessities for living. Traditional gifts and exchanges are particularly seen in wedding and burial ceremonies. In wedding ceremonies, hinggi became one of the things brought by the bride for exchange with the things brought by the bridegroom. In burial ceremonies, apart from being a symbol of respect for the deceased and family, hinggi also presented as a provision for the spirit of the deceased person (man) for his journey to the afterlife. All the presented cloth will be reciprocated with equal gifts in the future (Anas, 2006: 134). As capital goods, hinggi is bartered for farm produce, forest products, jewelleries, metal objects, ivory, and other necessities. With regard to its communication functions, hinggi plays the role as a message carier. The message is covered in the form of conveyance of respect, confirmation of authority and social status as well as possession of wealth. Respect is revealed through bestowal of high


quality hinggi at traditional ceremonies. Authority and social status are emphasized by the use of high quality hinggi. The message of wealth is expressed through the number and quality of hinggi a person has. As a ceremonial object, besides functioning at marriage and burial, ceremonies such as explained earlier, hinggi is also used in traditional process of transporting gravestones to the burial location. Hinggi is installed on the gravestone, usually a large tablet, just like a sail of a boat in its trip to the afterlife. The other function of traditional hinggi is as a media for aesthetical expresssion is based on grounds of idealisms of the East Sumba people where quality of cloth is appraised based on the the technical skills and aesthetic sensitivity of the weaver. East Sumba weavers use some materials, tool, and techniques, and certain decorative elements as medium in the production of hinggi. Accumulation in skills of spinning of fibers and in weaving, expertise in collecting and processing of dyestuffs, mastery in tie and dyeing of threads, and sensitivity in selecting and designing the pattern and motifs, all determine the quality of a particular sheet of hinggi. Hinggi cloths meeting these qualifications will bring respect to the weaver or owners and are highly valued in the East Sumba customs and traditions. The visual aspects of hinggi concern its design or motifs, which are presented in various configuration levels and kinds, ranging from the simple blank sheet of cloth with no patterns to complex motifs appearing on the woven cloth. Complex motifs are seen on hinggi having a red color tone (hinggi kombu) and hinggi having a blue tone (hinggi kaworu). Hinggi is a long-established customary product growing in the East Sumba culture since old times. Its motifs are not only unique, but they also show great variety of qualities originating from East Sumbas cultural environments as well as foreign influences. The motifs are impressively shown in distinct and large configurations distributed symmetrically on the x-y axis throughout the cloth surface (Adams, 1969; Larsen et al, 1976; Warming and Gaworsky, 1981; Forshee, 1996). The entire motifs are arranged in a division into three horizontal planes based on a quadrant structure. Two of the three horizontal planes (A) have identical motifs arranged in diametrical positions with the third patterned horizontal plane (B) in the middle (Figure 1). Two color tones, namely red and blue, are used as basic colors in the hinggi motifs. Both color tones can appear individually or mixed together, the latter is done through a layering or multiple dying techniques to produce the third group of color tones, ranging from


dark brown, deep red, to dark purple. The mixed coloring style is usually found on the hinggi kombu, whereas hinggi kaworu usually have blue color tones. Adams (1969) divided the hinggi motifs into three large groups, namely the figurative, the schematic, and the foreign influenced groups of motifs. The figurative group departs from living creatures (fauna, flora, and human beings) and natural objects (non-living) in stylistic styles (Figure 1) This group is only based on ideas of East Sumba local ecology and cultural resources. The schematic motif group has a basic geometric shape of lacework, of abstract style (Figure 1). The motifs are inspired from local cultural sources and maybe foreign culture as well (Portuguese?). Motif groups with influences of cultures outside East Sumba, are particularly connected to cultures from China, India , and the Netherlands. Just like the other configurative motifs, the shape and styles of foreign motifs are also based on figures of human beings, flora, fauna, animals of mythology, and natural objects, and are of stylistic style. Chinese influence is seen on the presence of dragon motifs. This motif appeared through a process of adaptation of similar designs of Chinese ceramic products entering Indonesia. Dutch influence appears in shapes of lions and shields (Dutch coat of arms), crowns, as well as three colored flags (Adams, 1969). Influences of India are shown in motifs of elephant figures with stylistic styles and the patola ratu motif which take the abstract geometrical style. Another Indian influence is seen in the overall composition of the motifs showing similar features of the patola, an Indian silk double ikat cloth that was once highly valued by the Indonesian people. Portuguese (?) connections are seen in the openwork schematic motifs with semblances of crosses an badges used by noblemen or knights (soldiers). Apart from the figurative, stylistic, and abstract designs, many of the hinggi motifs have symbolical meanings based on the peoples beliefs in supernatural powers, with the king as representation on earth. Some of the famous symbolical motifs are the skull-tree (andung) motifs symbolizing power and strength, human (tau) motifs symbolizing ancestors, horse (njara) motifs symbolizing masculinity, dragon motifs symbolizing aristocratic status and souvereignity, and crocodile (buya) motifs symbolizing powers of the king. All the above explained designs of the hinggi and meanings of its motifs have placed the cloth basically as a ceremonial object and referred to the production era between the years 1900 1912, named the standard period (Adams, 1969:95).


Hinggi design development between the years 1900-2000 Growing interests for hinggi are motivated by diverse factors which are basically of promotional nature, and particularly those related to the fame of primitive arts and development of various lectures about them among the western communities as well as international tourism (see Anas, 2006: 248 53). Indeed the development had caused the hinggi and the producers to be directly exposed to the foreign public, continuously and for a long time already, factors that spurred the penetration of external influences. Placing the developments in time frames, then, during the period between the years 1900 to 2000, process-wise, hinggi was in a continuum of changes on its aesthetical, technical, physical and functional aspects. In general, the time span can be divided into two large periods, namely prior to 1900 up to 1970 and from 1970 through 2000. These divisions of periods (and the subperiods discussed below) are not deterministic, they rather indicate the eras where the certain styles in design and motif configurations were introduced. Nevertheless, this period is more precisely comprised of three sub-periods, namely between the end of the 19th century to 1912, from 1913 through 1945, and 1945 through 1970. From the End of the 19th century to 1912: The Idealistic Track and Early Symptoms of Change This time span was colored by hinggi made especially for internal cultural needs and as stated earlier is called the traditional hinggi. During this time period, the aesthetical appearance of hinggi had not experienced significant changes, although physically, many of the products had started to use machine spun threads and synthetic dyestuffs. Likewise, in its functional aspect hinggi is used as a traditional object. Therefore, as viewed from the context of change, the alterations in hinggi in this period were still in the early stage. Hence, the hinggi cloths produced during this time were considered to be at the ideal quality level. For that reason this type production line of hinggi is called the idealistic track, explicitly indicating their position as reference for the production of hinggi in later periods with various other qualities and external influences caused by cultural contacts between the East Sumba people and outsiders progressing along with the modernisation of Indonesia.. Hinggis placement as a traditional object confirmed its role in the internal culture of the East Sumba community.


The external market for hinggi during this period seemed not to grow in the context of commercial or international trade activities as comprehended nowadays but more due to individual interests and undertakings. It started in the end of the 19th century, when ethnographers and the Dutch Museum began to collect hinggi and made continuous efforts to introduce the cloths to the Dutch and European public through various publications and exhibitions (Adams, 1969: 1, 98 9). The popularity gained by hinggi enhanced a growing interest for them, especially the Dutch communities in Java and Europe, which initiated the business activities. However, most of the commercial activities were still within the limits of local trade areas. The marketing to Java and overseas countries at that time was still relying on inter-island transportation. 1913 1945: The Pragmatic Track, the Reduction of Motifs and the Development of Realistic Styles Fluctuations in increased and reduced hinggi production were happening during this period. Increased production was due to the growing external markets, along with the opening of the Waingapu harbor in the inter-island sea transportation line of the Koninklijke Pakketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) in year 1913 (Adams, 1969: 96). This event had increased accessibility to Sumba with the outer world, both regionally as well as internationally when compared to the earlier periods. This development had also given rise to new phenomena on hinggi with promotional and productive implications that impacted indirectly on the motifs. Promotional wise, hinggi was getting increasingly popular along with the traffic flow of people entering and going out from (East) Sumba. The market had spread beyond the geographical boundaries of the source area, especially to Java, and henceforth, also indirectly to overseas countries, European countries in particular. Implications of such promotion had reciprocally triggered the globalization or internationalization of the hinggi external market. Production wise, the making of hinggi developed on two different tracks, each with its respective characteristics and target users (see Wielenga in Adams, 1969: 99) The first track, beforehand the only one single track, namely the idealistic track, which is standard and ideal in terms of quality. This is the production of traditional hinggi, i.e hinggi in the scope of the cloths rightful existence and its functions as a traditional object with reference to the traditional qualification standards.


The second track is the production of hinggi for the external market after year 1913. This was a commercial market and therefore, had induced various changes concerning the designs, raw materials, techniques and functions. The design had experienced simplification and enlargement of the motifs as well as a reduction of color tones. Simplification is indicated by the absence of motif details and reduction of the use of different colors. Enlargement is obtained by increasing the motifs sizes, including spacing them farther apart. More and more machine-spun yarns (benang toko, yarns bought from the shop) are used, as well as synthetic dyestuffs (wenter). Production was usually done simultaneously to obtain maximum efficiency. Such hinggi design had also gained additional motifs and styles. This was especially seen in the use of new, foreign designs, among others, various shapes of ocean-going vessels (Figure 2), womens faces (queen Wilhelmina from the Netherlands, 1890 1948) and of daily things (for example, bicycles), while the earlier are,mentioned earlier, Dutch flags and coats of arms, the patola ratu, and the Indian elephant motif, as well as the Chinese dragon motif. Presumably, development of these motifs was also due to information flow from the outside world into Sumba (Sejarah Daerah Nusa Tenggara Timur (History of East Nusa Tenggara) 1977/1978: 107). The shapes and styles of the motifs indicated a tendency of realistic motifs (Forshee, 1996: 72-3) (figure 2), whereas beforehand, they were only limited to abstract and stylistic motifs. In connection with this development, in the context of this discussion on hinggi, the term realistic hinggi will be used for the realistic motifs style. The use of realistic styles on motifs of hinggi was allegedly due to the intention of meeting the European market tastes. Changes on the design also include the reappearing of old and already vanishing motifs. Reappearances of these motifs among others, was due to the objective of serving the demands of the interested buyers to imitate the hinggi motifs available in the museum catalogs or magazines circulating in the Netherlands or Europe. In spite of the various changes, the realistic hinggi could still be functioning in the internal cultural society of the producers community since basially the motifs are still showing certain characteristics that refer to traditional conventions, especially the diametrical configurations. Considering this matter, obviously the changes shown in the realistic hinggi are still of a partial or limited nature. The changes are not great in the sense that they do not change the design themes and principles as well as functions of hinggi. Substantively therefore, the realistic hinggi is of pragmatic nature. They appeared with two contexts at the same time,


namely for the sake of customs and traditions, as well as for the interest of the external market. Referring to this nature the quality level of the hinggi cloths produced during this period of time can be regarded as pragmatic and therefore are regarded suitable to be classified in the pragmatic track Reduced hinggi production for the external market took place during the Japanese occupation in Indonesia (1942 1945) (Adams, 1969: 100). After these years until the end of the sixth decade of the 20th century hinggis production rate was not clear. However, regardless of its quality and quantity, it is quite probable that the production of the realistic hinggi as well as the traditional hinggi in their respective idealistic and pragmatic tracks has continued. 1945 - 1970: Continuity of the Realistic Style Considering the design, in the years after 1942 the hinggi tended to stop developing. Apart from the impacts of Japanese occupation, excesses of World War II and the not yet stable political situation in the country until the middle of the 1960-ies, were indirectly became constraints for social and economic development of people all over the country. Concentrations of hinggi production during these years tended to only meeting internal cultural needs, whereas external markets were lacking development (see Adams, 1969: 100). Presumably, production of hinggi in general during the years 1945 to the 1970-ies was not showing significant changes, both physically (aesthetically) as well as technically. 1970 2000: Market Dynamics and Design Development This period referred especially to the production of hinggi in the last 25 years of the 20th century until recent as the period of increased hinggi production in East Sumba due to enhanced eagerness of the external market that was triggered by development of international tourism in Indonesia (Forshee, 1996: ix). The progress was related to macro-economic policies of the New Order central government stressing upon national developments in all fields including the tourism sector, in this case, international tourism, which was considered as superior and important for economic development in Indonesia (Departemen Penerangan (Department of Information), 1969: 168-80). Realizations of international tourism development started in Bali, signified by the rehabilitation of the Ngurah Rai Airport in the area of Tuban, Denpasar, in year 1969 (although long beforehand, in the 1930-ies, the Dutch colonial government had led the way for international tourism in Bali by promoting the island of Bali as the island of gods or the


Nirvana island). This first step was followed by various development programs of infrastructure and facilities of international scale with all its components that were related to tourism interests and services for the tourists, including the making available of diverse art products in various forms. This development would not only trigger external market growth for local art products, but also products of the same kind from different other areas in Indonesia, including East Sumba cloths. East Sumba, as a part of Sumba, is located relatively close to Bali, thus, making it easier for supplying the cloths to tourism destination centers in the island. Aside from opening opportunities for confirming the existence of hinggi for the wide public, the external market also placed hinggi to face diverse aspirations of foreign tourists. Hinggi came forward in a range of more varied designs and motifs than they were in the past. Earlier, the changes in the design and motifs of hinggi were partial, but nowadays, the development has made the cloths pragmatic role (realistic hinggi) to gradually advancing towards substantial variances away from the traditional standards that make them no longer possible to fulfill their traditional functions other than as a trade commodity. The variances are related to design creativity, both motifs and colors, in dealing with market aspirations, leading to the creation of new appropriation for hinggi, namely for room decorations such as wall-hangings, which increasingly encourage the various changes in their design and motifs.

Changes in styles, themes, and motif arrangements The changes in the design of hinggi nowadays can be classified into four categories. First is the realistic hinggi with decorative secular themes as a continuity of the realistic hinggi of the 1913 1942 and 1945 1970 eras. The realistic style of the era was increasingly attributed to the suppleness of lines and dynamics of movements, although the design symmetry was still referring to traditional hinggi (x and y axis), divided into quadrants. Red and blue color tones were still dominant in this first hinggi category, just like the traditional hinggi. Second is the hinggi with a symmetrical motif arrangement with only the axis y in dual division. The diametric position has an x axis, still maintaining the traditional hinggi design but with different motifs. The motifs are expressed in shapes of realistic style with decorative secular themes as well as of stylistic and abstract styles with spiritual symbolic themes. Hinggi with such motif arrangement is called hinggi hondu kihil (hondu = ikat (tie); kihil = rotation) (Figure 3). Indeed


the color tones of hinggi hondu kihil are still referring to the red and blue color tones of the traditional hinggi. The third category is the hinggi with symmetrical design, y axis with doublet pattern motif configuration in coincidental arrangement which, on the whole, expressed in a one direction position (unlike the traditional and realistic hinggis that are diametrical in its motif configuration). The design themes are varied, nevertheless, they tend to be decorative secular with variations of using the motifs of traditional hinggi (which are sumbolical and spiritual) and other sources of East Sumba material culture like scenes of dances or daily life happenings. Such hinggi is usually called the one direction hinggi (satu arah) and is already showing symptoms of color tones dominated by red color tones, a deviation from the traditional hinggi color tones of red and blue. Finally, the fourth is the hinggi with further changes in design with secular decorative themes. The arrangement of motifs is based on symmetry of axis y with doublet pattern configurations in coincidental arrangement, expressing scenes of important events in the cultural life of East Sumba people. The scenes are illustrated in narrative sequences from the upper end to the lower end of the cloth. The motif styles are getting more supple (biomorphic) and dynamic. In the context of this writing, the respective hinggi is referred to as the narrative hinggi (Figure 4). Red color tones are dominant in this category of hinggi. Among the native communities, the narrative hinggi is often named in accordance to the scenes that made up the design theme. Regarding the latter, the pasola scene used as the hinggi design theme has caused the cloth to be called hinggi pasola. Besides hinggi pasola there are also the hinggi papanggangu (papanggangu=the burial ceremony of a king) and hinggi palai ngandi (depicting the kidnapping of the bride by her husband to be). Pasola and papanggangu are the two great events in the tradition of the Sumba ethnic group which later become a famous tourist attraction although there is no exact schedule for such events. In the case of papangganggu, the reason is that various traditional requirements should first be met before organizing the event, whereas in the case of pasola, there is yet no exact date, although the event is always held around the end of February or beginning of March). Palai ngandi becomes a tourist attraction more because of dramatization of the event, namely an act in the Sumba culture which is later made as cloth motifs. The various changes, especially those related to the one direction and narrative hinggi, are basically beyond the traditional quality standards, and thus, they could no longer be called


hinggi. The one direction hinggi is within the context of the external markets (tourists) aspirations wishing the cloth to function as wall decoration. The objective is to have the hinggi draped on the wall of a room like a painting with motifs of local culture themes, but easily understood. These types of hinggi, if it still is appropriate to called it as such, are entirely commercial and are therefore regarded suitable to be classified in the commercial track. Changes in the functions of hinggi also include their uses as fabric or material for making western style apparels (coats, blazers, shirts, and jackets), interior and households accessories (drapes, upholsteries, and bed covers); Also various fashion accessories like purses, bags, sacks, and hats. However, the respective change of functions is only limited to the use of hinggi as a sheet of woven cloth that could be cut and formed according to the usage patterns. This function does not (yet) demand basic changes on the design and process of tying and dyeing of the thread bundles.

Tabel 1: Production purposes of hinggi (<1900 - > 2000)

< 190 0 190 0 191 0 191 0 192 0 192 0 193 0 193 0 194 0 194 0 195 0 195 0 196 0 196 0 197 0 197 0 198 0 198 0 199 0 199 0 200 0 > 200 0

Era Prod. purpose/ Track

Internal culture/
idealistic track

1900 Traditional hinggi

External market/
pragmatic track

1913 realistic hinggi

external market/
commercial track

1970 one direction/ narrative hinggi; diverse rectlar cloths


Table 2: Diversified hinggi designs

Production track Aspects Motifs - Shapes Idealistic tract > 1900 Pragmatic track > 1913 Commercial track > 1970

Traditional/original (mayority) Stylistic-abstract

Traditional/original new Stylistic-abstractrealistic Spiritual-symbolicsecular Red-blue Diametrical 2 directions; in quadrants

New (majority)


- Styles

Realistic (dominant)

- themes Color tones Aranggement of motifs

Spiritual-symbolic Red-blue Diametrical 2 directions; in quadrants

secular-decorative Dominance of red; random color scheme Diametrical;coincidental; 1 direction; doublet; single piece

Recently (as shown in the above tables) the commercial track showed changes in the motifs, themes and overall configuration that go even further. Christrian topics like the Christmas tree with surrounding angels, Jesus in standing pose, landscapes, sceneries, running horses and the like are increasingly filling the market. But amidst the changes in its formal/aesthetical aspect, the technique in making the hinggi, warp ikat, persist, infact it is implemented in a variety of rectangle cloths with themes, as mentioned above, that do not resemble hinggi at all. The two tables below respectively show hinggis production purposes (Table 1) and diversification of designs (Table 2) within a period of about 100 years. Conclusion Through an approximately time span of 100 years, the production of hinggi has developed into greater varieties of designs and motifs, each with their respective characteristics. Viewing the different designs and motifs from a historical context, the development could be divided into two large periods. The first period took place between the years 1900 1970, particularly after year 1913, where designs were oriented to simplification of motifs and color tones, as well as the use of machine-spun yarns and synthetic dyestuffs. This period had only induced partial changes, especially on visual aspects, namely the motifs and showing interest in hinggi production efficiency. The objective of efficiency was to maintain supply of products in connection with


increased market demands as well as to safeguard the market attraction power of hinggi. On the one hand, the external market had played its role quantitatively, namely of increasing demands and production. However, qualitatively on the other hand, the external markets role was lacking. Quality of hinggi products was declining, especially considering the motifs, which were greatly reduced due to various simplifications. Nevertheless, hinggi products with such design are pragmatic, in the sense that they were produced not only for the external market, at the same time they could still serve various traditional needs. Meaning also that, while on the one side hinggi could still function as a traditional object, on the other side the design and motifs of hinggi had also experienced changes due to their orientation towards the external market. The second period, namely between the years 1970 2000 and beyond, hinggi cloths were produced with greater variations of design and motifs. Besides the simplifications, which are quantitative, hinggi design and motifs had also underwent qualitative changes, namely in aspects of shapes, styles, arrangements, colors, and themes. The shapes, which were simplified during the previous period, had become more complex. Styles of motifs that tended to be abstract and stylistic before became increasingly realistic with supple biomorphic lines. The arrangement of motifs had changed from having a double x-y axis to single asix (y). configurations of color tones had transformed from basic tones of red and blue to a dominance of red color tones. Beforehand, design themes were based on spiritual culture and now they are based on material culture. All of the developments reveal substantial changes to the pattern of hinggi motifs, from symbolism to decoration, reflecting a penetration of external markets tastes and aspirations into the design. The changes had also affected substantially on the uses and applications of hinggi as indicated by its transformation from ceremonial, traditional objects into commodities. This development shows that , besides playing its role quantitatively, particularly in diversifying the design and motifs, the external market also plays its role qualitatively, not only in aspects of design and motifs, but functional aspects of the hinggi as well although such appearances of hinggi are totally of commercial nature and could no longer be used as traditional objects, evenmore they could not longer be called hinggi. In terms of the future of hinggi, above all it is a cultural product. It represents the ideals, beliefs and world view of the East Sumbanese, which in turn form the foundation of its existence. Therefore, the existence and future of the hinggi depends on the cultural awareness of the people who created it and appreciation towards their cultural values. Cultural awareness and 27

appreciation will place the hinggi as an identity and pride of the community from where it belongs. Meanwhile, the existence of a tradition depends on the development of the environment, circumstances and the spirit of times as well. Modernization in it various forms will play an important role in determining the flow and course of a tradition The power of change due to modernization, including globalization, seemingly leave no room for the existence of tradition. This is true for all kinds of material cultural products, and the hinggi is no exception. Only strict obedience to tradition with absolute adherence and devotion can probably guarantee a sustainable existence for traditional products and thereby assuring its future. This is possible and, as a matter of fact, is much seen in communities living far from the outside world. However, it is hard to see isolation as a choice to preserve tradition in todays ever developing world that demands social connection and networking to stay competetive. Therefore, another possibilty could be considered e.g. having a thorough understanding and awareness on the cultural values embedded in ones traditional culture. Understanding and culture awareness is the energy to drive and incite a sense of identity and pride of it. In the case of hinggi it lies in the high standards and uniqueness of the cloths aesthetical and technical features upon which its future depends. Cultural awareness and pride have to be supported by creativity as a dominant factor in preserving traditional products. The history of Hinggi in all its diversity shows this, especially in those that remained diametrical in terms of the configuration of motifs. But hinggi is not all about motif and colors, it is also a showcase for one of Indonesias infinite source of textile production techniques, the resist dye based warp ikat technique. Here creativity is expressed through all types of hinggi including the one direction and the narrative hinggi, and the many rectangle cloths with various themes. From the technical point, hinggi can no doubt be developed even further. Hinggis warp ikat technique alone can be exploited for endless textile product types and variations, not to mention its diverse motifs and colors, and possible application of alternate fibers such as silk and the use of new dyes. Batik provides a good example of changes brought about in local traditions through the application of modern textile technologies, through the influence of countless preferences in taste and fashion. Despite the constant predictions of its impending extinction batik prevails and in fact rich variations of design, function, technique, base material are constantly emerging. And even there, if a market is created for classical tulis batik colored by vegetable dyes, its production will evolved and expand


rather than go extinct.As a traditional form of cloth hinggi faces the same challenges, in both technical and aesthetic terms. The future of hinggi will depend on the level of cultural awareness, pride and creativity of the East Sumbanese, in the deep with which they realize it can be used as one of the most important aspects of their socio-cultural identity. Realizing this and capitalizing upon it will support the continued existence of hinggi existence and both the production of old and new forms well into the future.

stylistic motives A

motif direction

schematic motives B

y x

motif direction

stylistic motives A motif direction

Figure 1: Traditional Hinggi >1900 era B Diametric symmetrical motifs, x-y axis, in quadrant pattern, the ecology and local culture of East Sumba as

Figure 2: Hinggi produced in the > 1913 era. Motifs with realistic styles (boat styles) motif


Figure 3 Hinggi hondu kihil, produced in the > 1970 era. Different motifs in part A and B, y axis, diametric arrangement, doublet pattern

Figure 4: One direction narrative hinggi, pasola version, made in the > 1970 era. Motifs in realistic style with biomorphic lines, y axis, doublet pattern. Narration starts from the upper end and ends at the bottom end of the cloth

motif direction

narrative direction


References Adams, M. J. (1969), System and Meaning in East Sumba Textile Design: A Study in Traditional Indonesian Art, Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, New Haven, Connecticut. ____________(1999), Life and death on Sumba, dalam Decorative Arts of Sumba, The Pepin Press, Amsterdam, 11 29. Anas, Biranul (2006), East Sumba hinggi pattern in the tourism destination area. Continuity and Change, Doctoral dissertation, Institut Teknologi Bandung. Chambers, E. (2000), Native Tours. The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism, Waveland Press, Inc. Illinois. Departemen Penerangan R.I (1969), Garis-garis Besar haluan Negara Forshee, J. K. (1994), Sumbanese Textiles Past and Present. Transitions in Cloth and Society , dalam Indonesian and Other Asian Textiles. A Common Heritage, Museum Nasional, Jakarta, 53 75. ____________(1996), Powerful Connections. Cloth, Identity, and Global Links in East Sumba, Indonesia, PhD. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. ____________(1999), Unfolding passages: weaving through the centuries In East Sumba, dalam Decorative Arts of Sumba, The Pepin Press, Amsterdam, 31 51. Geertz, C. (1997), Cultural Tourism: Tradition, Identity and Heritage Construction, dalam Nuryanti W., Editor, Tourism and Heritage Management, Gajah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta, 14 24. Gittinger, M.(1990), Splendid Symbols. Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia, Oxford Unversity Press, Singapore. Graburn, N.H.H. Ed., (1976) Ethnic and Tourist Arts. Cultural Expressions from the Fourth World, University of California Press, Berkeley. Hitchcock, M., T. King, V.T. dan Parnwell, M. J.G., Eds. (1993), Tourism in South-East Asia, Routledge, London-New York. Kantor MeNeg Kebudayaan & Pariwisata, 2002 Kapita, Oe. H. (1982), Kamus Sumba/Kambera Indonesia, Panitia Penerbit Naskah-naskah Kebudayaan Daerah Sumba, Dewan Penata Layanan Gereja Kristen Sumba, Waingapu. Larsen, J.L., Bhler, A., Solyom, B. dan Solyom, G. (1976?), The Dyers Art. Ikat, Batik, Plangi, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York. McIntosh, R. W., Goeldner, C. R. dan Ritchie, J.R.B. (1995), Tourism. Principles, Practices, Philosophies, John Wiley & Sons, New York. Proyek Penelitian dan Pencatatan Kebudayaan Daerah (1977/1978), Sejarah Daerah Nusa Tenggara Timur, Pusat Penelitian Sejarah dan Budaya, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Jakarta. Warming, W. dan Gaworski, M. (1981), The World of Indonesian Textiles, Kodansha International Ltd.,Tokyo.


Conservation, Display, and Storage Techniques for Indonesian Textiles in South Australia Kristin Phillips Abstract Artlab Australia is responsible for the care of textile collections from the public collections of South Australia including the major collection of Indonesian Textiles belonging to the Art Gallery of South Australia. The curator of Asian Art at the gallery, Mr. James Bennett, frequently displays Indonesian textiles with other media to encourage and facilitate the interpretation and appreciation of Indonesian art. Artlab is responsible for preparing these textiles for display. The methods for stitch and adhesive repair and painted patches will be outlined. Display methods including the use of fabric covered backing boards, soft Velcro, shaped mounts for tubes and methods for securing fringing will be described. The preparation of textile for storage in boxes will also be discussed. Introduction Artlab Australia is responsible for the care of textile collections from the public collections of South Australia including the major collection of Indonesian Textiles belonging to the Art Gallery of South Australia. The Curator of Asian Art at the gallery, Mr. James Bennett, frequently displays Indonesian textiles with other media to encourage and facilitate the interpretation and appreciation of Indonesian art. The Textile Conservators at Artlab work to ensure that the textiles are displayed and stored safely to ensure their long term preservation whilst meeting exhibition deadlines in an efficient and cost effective manner. Systems for treatment, display and storage of textiles have developed over the years so that these objectives are met.

Figure 1: Ritual cloth hanging, sekomandi with figures on display. The Art Gallery of South Australia


Conservation Treatments There are a wide range of techniques used for the treatment of Indonesian textiles. The treatments outlined below are ones that are commonly used for the repair of Indonesian textiles at Artlab prior to display. If a textile is damaged it will require treatment before it can be safely displayed. If the damage is small and the textile is generally in good condition often a patch of a new fabric is used. If a textile is fairly strong and has a weave structure that is open enough to allow a fine needle to pass through it without damage, repairs will be hand-stitched in place. Stitching is preferred as it is considered to be more sympathetic, supportive and easily reversible. If the textile is too fragile or fine an adhesive technique is required. Initially a fabric with a similar texture and weave is selected. The patch needs to be a colour that blends with the textile. Where possible a commercially produced colour will be used. However, it is frequently not possible to buy a matching colour. Then the patch fabric has to be dyed or painted by the conservator to match suing appropriate stable dye or fabric paint. Once the correct colour has been achieved the patch is cut larger than the damage so that it can be sewn into the undamaged area around the hole. The patch is the hand-sewn in place using running stitch. The damage is additionally supported by stitching using a couching stitch. Generally a very fine silk or polyester thread is used. This is a very commonly used technique for the repair of textiles. Often a plain patch in a well matched colour will disguise an area of loss so that it is not visually obvious. However, where the damage is in a patterned area a plain patch will sometimes remain quite visible. In such a case the patch will be painted, before it is applied, using fabric paints replicating the pattern in the area of loss. The required pattern is copied from an intact area of the textile onto clear plastic. The pattern is then traced onto the patch and replicated. The colours and intensities are matched as closely as possible. The patch is then cut and sewn into position as previously described. A painted patch will work very effectively to disguise an area of loss but is easily detected under close examination. At Artlab Deka Silk fabric paints are used to colour fabrics. The paints are commercially available and used for silk painting. These can be used either to paint plain colours or patterns. They have been found to have good light and wash fastness and the paints are easily set by ironing. Where the weave of a textile is very fine, as is the case for many Indonesian batiks, or where the textile is extremely fragile an adhesive method of repair is used. A fine polyester


fabric, Tetex, is painted out with a conservation grade adhesive (15% v/v 50:50 Lascaux 498HV: Lascaux 360 HV) and allowed to dry. The adhesive-impregnated patch can then be carefully heat-set into position behind an area of damage. This type of patch will work very effectively to support a fine or fragile damaged textile. However, this type of patch will not disguise any areas of loss. To overcome this, a patch can be prepared as previously described. It can be plain or patterned depending on the area of loss. But in this case the patch is not sewn to the textile. When the textile is mounted for display onto a fabric-covered board the prepared patches are sewn only to the backboard behind the areas of loss. The patches are visible through the fine Tetex and work very effectively to blend and disguise the areas of loss. This method is also very effective for very open weave textiles such as patola cloth where attaching a patch of a similar weight fabric can be very obvious. Tetex can then be used for the repair, often a full lining stitched into place is required, and the painted patches are sewn to the backboard to disguise the areas of loss for display.

Figure 2: Patola cloth, Art Gallery of South Australia

Figure 3: Detail of patola cloth lined with Tetex with painted patch attached to backboard behind damage, Art Gallery of South Australia.


Fabric-Covered Backing Boards Fabric-covered backing boards are used for display of Indonesian textiles at the gallery. These backboards achieve a number of benefits for the safe display of textiles. Aesthetically they provide a border around the textile. This also provides some physical protection when handling the textile particularly to the edges of the textile. They allow the textile to be displayed on a slight angle which provides additional support and the textile sits on a slightly padded, acid-free surface. The fabric covering the boards enables the textile to be attached using stitching if required and patches used to disguise areas of loss can be sewn into position. The boards are constructed from a wooden strainer. The strainer is covered with a light weight acid-free board, Corflute a polypropylene plastic board. This is then covered with two layers of fabric which are stapled at the back. A first layer is cotton flannelette and is used to give some slight padding to the board. The final layer of fabric is selected to suit the textile. The Art Gallery of South Australia has selected one colour that they use for all of the Indonesian textiles. This layer can be chosen at the discretion of the conservator and the curator but generally it would be advised to use a cotton or cotton/polyester mix and to avoid wool or silk as it may attract insects. When using a coloured fabric always ensure it is wash fast and it is ideal to wash the fabric before use to ensure that any impurities have been removed. The fabric-covered backing boards work well to provide support for the textiles whilst enabling losses to be disguised and achieving the aesthetic requirements of exhibition. The textile can be attached to the fabric-covered board in a number of ways. The textile can be simply stitched into position. This is useful for transparent fabrics where other hanging systems will be visible. The textile can also be sewn to a heading cloth. This consists of a strip of fabric, generally the same fabric used to cover the backing board, that is sewn to the top edge of the textile with 2 rows of hand stitching. The heading cloth is then attached to the backing board using staples on the back. It is a very effective technique but it can be difficult to remove the textile as the staples used to attach the heading cloth need to be removed as it is preferable not to place the textile face down when removing the staples. The use of Soft and Flexible Velcro has been found to be the most convenient hanging system for many Indonesian textiles. It allows for rapid removal and reattachment of the textile to the backing board but as this form of Velcro is much finer and more flexible than standard Velcro the hanging system is less bulky. Soft and Flexible Velcro is used commonly for


babys clothing and lightweight fabrics. Standard Velcro and cotton herringbone tape is still used for thicker or heavier textiles. Initially the soft side of the Soft and Flexible Velcro is machine sewn to wide polyester ribbon. The polyester ribbon/Velcro is then hand-sewn to the textile. The hard side of the Velcro is attached to the backing board. Where possible the strainer is constructed so that a wooden bar is in place behind the location of the hard side Velcro. The hard side Velcro can then be simply stapled into position using stainless steel staples. If an additional wooden bar has not been fitted the Velcro is sewn into position by hand through the light weight board. For display the textile is quickly and simply attached to the backing board using the Velcro. The Velcro also allows the hang of the textile to be adjusted as required. When the textile is removed from display the textile is easily detached and the soft side Velcro is left in position when the textile is stored and as such the textile is very easily reattached for display when next required. Textiles that are sewn into tubes are often included in exhibitions. It is preferable not to display these textiles flat as sharp creases along the sides will eventually cause damage and splitting. Often it is desirable to give these textiles a 3-D quality to show that the textile is a tube and to give an impression of how the garment might have looked when it was worn. Therefore an internal form is used to be fill out and provide shape for the textile before it is attached to a fabric-covered backing board. Forms can be easily constructed from light-weight board with padded edges. The edges are padded using polyethylene foam rods or tubes. These rods or tubes are commonly available in Australia in the form of childrens flotation devices, known as pool noodles or as insulation for plumbing pipes. They are both made from expanded polyethylene foam, a well known and commonly used foam in conservation. The tubular textile is measured and the board and foam rod/tube cut accordingly. The foam is easily cut using a sharp kitchen knife. The rods/tubes are cut longitudinally and glued to the edges of the board using hot glue. The void between the rods/tubes is filled with a layer of Dacron, placed each side of the board, and then the whole lot is covered with fabric. Additional padding can be included if required to ensure that the textile fits snugly onto the form. The fabric used to cover the form is a smooth slippery fabric that allows the textile to slide onto the form. The ends of the form, that can been seen when the textile is on display, are then covered with a fabric that blends with the textile. Often a stretch knit fabric a similar colour to


the backing board is used as it is easier to achieve a smooth finish. A line of stitching at the top edge attaching the textile to the form is sometimes required.

Figure 4: Diagram of the cross-section of a flat roller

Before a form is padded and covered, aluminium brackets are made to enable the form to be attached to the backing board. These are pop riveted to the lightweight board used as the core of the form. The 2 brackets are simply constructed from strap aluminium bent into an angular U shape. One side of each of the U brackets is attached to the form and the other sides protrude from the top of the form so they can be hooked onto corresponding brackets attached to the backing board. Again the strainer requires an additional wooden bar to be placed where the brackets are attached. For display, once the tubular textile is fitted to the form, the form and the textile are simply hooked onto the backing board. When it is removed from display they are simply unhooked and the form can remain inside the textile for storage. When displaying a textile with fringing often the fringing is at the top. Unless it is supported it will flop down obscuring the textile. In the past fringing has often been secured to the backboard using stitching. This is an effective but time consuming process. A recent alternative has been developed where the fringing is held between two threads that are twisted together. Two strong threads of a blending colour are used. The first thread is placed under the fringe, pulled taut and temporarily pinned. The second thread is looped over 3 or 4 individual fringe members and around the first taut thread, the over the next 3 or 4 fringe members and under the first thread, the process is repeated until the whole fringe is secured between the 2 threads. The 2 twisted threads are passed through to the back of the fabric covered board at each side of the fringe and secured. This system worked well to support the fringe and hold it in place.


An occasional additional stitch in the middle securing the twisting threads to the back board may be required if the textile is wide and the fringing heavy. When the textile is removed from display the additional support stitches are cut and the twisted threads are released from the back and pulled through to the front but left in place twisted around the fringing. They are left in place when the textile is placed in storage. When the textile is required for display again the twisted threads can be reused, resecuring the fringe and greatly reducing the time required for display preparation. Storage After a textile is removed from display it is removed from the backboard and packed separately for storage. The board is wrapped up and placed in storage. The textile store at the Gallery does not have specific rolled storage furniture and there is a preference to keep textiles boxed. Storing textiles in boxes has a number of advantages. No custom built storage furniture is required, the boxed textiles are easily stacked and the box provides additional physical protection to the textiles. This is particularly advantageous when items are transported. The Gallery store is off-site and all textiles have to be transported to and from the store by truck. A system has been developed where a flat roller is constructed and the textiles are rolled around the flat roller. This allows the textiles to be more easily stacked into a box. A flat roller is oval in cross-section and is made up of a light-weight board with padded edges, similar in construction to the form described for the display of tubular textiles. Lightweight board with the foam rods used to pad the edges and the void filled with Dacron. To save time the rods are cut in half longitudinally using a band saw before they are glued to the edges of the board. The flat roller is generally covered with an acid-free plastic but washed cotton can also be used. For rolling, an interleaving layer of an acid-free fabric is placed on the textile, the textile is rolled around the outside of the flat roller and the rolled textile is then placed into the box. Several textiles can be placed into one box. It is a particularly good system for textiles that are difficult to roll such as ones that are lined, distorted due to a tight central seam or gathered at the top. A standard size box is used and shelving that will fit these standard boxes has been constructed. This technique has been found to be a very effective system that is makes it easy to prepare textile for storage whilst providing safe conditions without the need for specialised storage furniture for rolled textiles.


Figure 5: Mans wrap cloth, hinggi - Textile being rolled onto a flat roller, Art Gallery of south Australia.

Figure 6: Boxed textiles at the store of the Art Gallery of south Australia


Conclusion The Indonesian textile collection forms an exciting and integral part of the ongoing and ever changing exhibitions of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The conservation, display and storage requirements for these textiles are diverse. The textile conservators at Artlab enjoy the challenge of developing and modifying textile conservation techniques to innovatively and efficiently meet the conservation needs of the textiles so that they can be accessible to the general public today and the future.


The Nagas Breath: An Introduction to Motifs and Organic Production of Lao Traditional Silk Textiles Mdame Kommaly Chantavong and Melody Kemp

Introduction Laos and Indonesia have a lot in common. They are both well known for textile production, which is an integral part of the national culture. Both gain inspiration from ancient motifs and symbols that are intertwined with spiritual beliefs, both indigenous to the nation, and from ancient trading and religious roots with nations such as India. Both are trying to adapt the textile tradition to modern fashion demands while maintaining the integrity of the designs and craft. Indonesia is far more well known, Laos has been at war for many years and has only recently opened to the world. There is no doubt that Laos could learn a lot from Indonesias success in branding its textiles. While batik is an age old technique, it is now invariably linked to Indonesia, while silk is more linked to Thailand, though the Lao tradition has spilled over into Thailand from the territory annexed by the Thais and now called Issarn. India can be considered the mother of Asian textiles, the influence being spread via the early Hindu cultures that spread east from the subcontinent. The Lao and Khmer cultures were influenced by the Hindu/ Buddhist tradition and designs such as the lock key (signifying welcome and integration into family and thus often woven for weddings) and interlocking bean (signifying interdependence and love, also woven for weddings) then came back south to Kalimantan. Geometric designs similar to those found in Lao silk can be seen in Dayak baskets, indicating the links textile historians say between Laos and parts of the Indonesian archipelago.

Lock key woven in indigo dyed silk, influenced by Hindu Khmer culture


The Naga Tradition The following tale records the story of the naga as it is conveyed in Laotian oral tradition: At the beginnings of time, a poor family lived and fished. The mother and daughter grew mulberry trees and fed silkworms. They had to be fed for two full moons before making a cocoons inside of which they stayed, hatching only once per year. The family called this worm the Mai Faa. Meaning year old worm. The mother reeled the silk and from it the father made a fishing net. When he had finished making the net, he gave it to the daughter who took to the great Nam Kong to fish. She carried her basket of embroidery materials to the river and embellished her sinh (traditional skirt) as she waited to catch a fish. She heard a noise: It was a water dragon or naga crying for help. It had been caught by her silk net and could not escape. She felt pity and tried to free it. Cutting the silk with her scissors she sang a song to encourage the gods to allow her to free the dragon from the tough and fine silk. When the song ended, the net did indeed part, and the dragon swam free. Taking the daughter into his water world she met the king and Queen of the underwater kingdom which protects the land by encouraging the rains. Before she left to go back to her home the King and Queens gave the daughter a bag containing white and yellow ginger. When she got home she opened the bag and the yellow become the sun and the white, the moon. The family gained much wealth an happiness and since then Lao when traveling on the rivers, wear silk threads on their wrists (mai faa) in honour of the naga. As above, traditional peoples throughout the world venerate the snake, serpent or dragon, and naga images are ubiquitous in the textiles and other decorative arts, made in Lao particularly those used in Shamanic arts. Lao shamans wear pieces of silk imbued with naga designs on their heads (pha khan soeng) , shoulders or loins while calling on the spirits to heal or bring fertility. Naga are thought to dwell at the confluence of the two rivers that form the isthmus on which the world heritage listed city of Luang Prabang is built. Their play is heard in thunder and they are called on to bring the annual rains. Fire balls that annually appear on the Mekong are thought to be energy from the sacred nagas, and proof that they do exist. Even Westerners have their equivalent of the naga. The Bible talks of an anthropomorphized snake tempting the suggestible Eve. Australian aboriginal culture holds the rainbow serpent as enfolding the very life energy that created human beings. So it is fitting that we should honor the sacred dragon in textiles.


Funeral cloths (pha koei) and coffin covers (pha pok long) invariably have naga motifs to protect the dead during their journey to the spirit world, and the complexity of those depended on the ethnic group and status of the dead. Laotians wear nagas in the designs woven into their tube skirts (known as sinhs) or in the hem pieces that typify Lao womens dress.

Weaving Nagas Lao girls learn to weave before they are 10 or 12 years old. To keep them attentive they are told that if they fall from their seat at the loom they will turn into bears are have to leave and live in the forest. And though Madam Kommaly left home when she was 13, during the American war in Vietnam which spilled over the border into Lao, she was at that stage already an accomplished weaver. On her journey she carried her familys heirloom pieces of textile, the sacred nagas of Hua Phan, where she came from, keeping her safe. Nagas are still a feature of her weaving. The sale of the heirloom pieces enabled her to establish her weaving cooperative to provide income to women widowed by the war. Since then weaving has been her life and it is she who inspired and taught me.

While most Lao women know how to weave, it is the women of Hua Phan, Xieng Khouang and Pakse that have special skills. The Pakse weaving is more influenced by Khmer culture and ikat technique and is typified by anthropomorphic symbols: elephants bearing royal processions treading joyously across the skirt, umbrellas protecting the king and his consorts and laughing female spirits. But in Huaphan and Xieng Khouang the nagas appear in flaming glory, such as the one below, woven (supplementary weave) to be attached to the bottom of a tube skirt. Here the naga embraces the flowers given as offerings at the end of the 3 month long fasting period when the Laos celebrate by holding boat races. The candle house naga represents the candle offerings (Ork Phansa or Kathong) given to the river at the annual boat races, celebrating the end of the rains retreat.


Candle House naga

Nagas are intrinsic to Lao weaving to such a degree that it is said that if you are weaving, you are weaving nagas. This is true even amongst Laos sixty or more ethic groups who have migrated into and within Lao for centuries. The naga symbol is also used by those who worship forest and river spirits, Buddha or Christianity which underlines the universality and unification of the naga motif. It seems to transcend religion and race. And while naga are central to most designs they are joined by flowers, birds and other things the women or man weaving the creation can see. For instance, one woman below is weaving an ikat (mutt mee) sinh decorated with crabs, as she had enjoyed a dish of river crabs the night before starting work.

A Living Culture Like Indonesia the Laos textile culture is not a museum artifact but part of the contemporary style. Women wear the traditional sinh each day. Most of these are of silk but increasingly made of polyester, or imported silk as the industry cannot keep up with the demand for the sinuous thread. Aid agencies have been slow to observe the potential of sericulture, and its place deep in the Lao psyche, opting for large scale development which is ravaging the Lao environment and reducing the amount of land available for mulberry trees. Laos is a place where everyone wears silk. It is not bound by wealth or status. Being able to grow


the fiber, reel, spin and weave silk is part of every Lao womans heritage. Women wear silk to markets, to work in the rice fields or to ride motor bikes. We had a women dressed in gray silk cable us to a truck when we were stuck in the muddy roads of Xieng Khouang. Rural women mix silk and cotton to make the skirts they live and work in. The two sleeping nagas below are for the hems of skirts. This design from Xien Khouang, is of sleeping nagas intertwined. Above them the striped signify a rainbow. The piece is quite old and the fabric soft and gently faded, having been dyed with plant based dyes. Madame Kommaly usually uses one dye source for each piece she weaves, each shade of the colour being tempered by mixing and modifying with other dyes. The piece at photographed at the beginning of this paper has been dyed using indigo mixed and nuanced.

Sleeping naga

Organic Silk One of the biggest trends in European fashion is the shift to organically grown and dyed fibers. This is turn has fostered a number of publications that emphasise ethical and/or organic textiles. Like Indonesia, Lao has a long tradition and inventory of plant based dyes and is in an ideal position to take advantage of this market, as Lao silk can be produced entirely by natural processes requiring no environmentally damaging chemicals. Madam Kommaly is head of one such cooperative that fosters organic silk and fair trade. She works with some 200 villages all of which produce one component of the textiles you see here. She established that around 17 people were involved in the making of one piece of silk. From the farmer who grows the cows to manure the trees, to the school kids who twist and knot the fringes. This provides invaluable assistance to villages which exist outside of the development gaze. Two species of indigo are endemic to Laos and the colour is mixed with other plants to produce shades that vary from black to green. The tree that harbors the laq insect is also endemic, allowing Lao women to dye silk the deep pink that resembles the colour from the cochineal beetle. There are about forty plants, woods and fruits that yield colours and the women


in weaving villages are natural alchemists. The loss of forests due to rampant logging is a source of great concern to women weavers, as many of the dyes are to be found in micro habitats or in the timber from increasingly rare trees. Plants are interdependent and forest loss puts at risk a potentially big source of income for village communities as logging only benefits the already wealthy urban elites. Lao unlike Indonesia does not have a national textile museum. The only way for scholars to study Lao textile collections in Laos is to visit the homes of private collectors. Textiles are ephemeral reminders of long gone cultures, who have lost their identity by merging with modernity or which have simply perished. Naturally one can only hope that the Lao weaving tradition, which is part of the national psyche and as normal as walking can survive in the face of development and modernization. Indonesian textile artists will find much of beauty in the Laotian traditions and perhaps in the future they may even share ideas with each other as well as markets.


DurableTraditions: InspirationalTextileLegaciesinStoneintheNationalMuseumofIndonesia JonathanZilberg,Ph.D. . . . the measure of an events or a persons importance in the hurlyburly of history is the time they take to be forgotten. Only those that endure and are identified with an enduring reality really count in the history of civilization (FernandBraudelAHistoryofCivilizations1995:27). Introduction SomeofthespecimensofstonesculpturefromthepreIslamicHinduBuddhistperiod

that are kept today in the courtyard of the National Museum of Indonesia can play an importantroleinstimulatingpeopletogainadeeperappreciationofthehistoryoftextilesin Asia.Infact,themostintricatelycarvedspecimensprovideanexceptionaliflimitedrecordof the most sumptuous cloth worn by royalty in the Indonesian archipelago from the late 7th throughthe14thCentury.Theserecordsofclothinstoneprovidetantalizingglimpsesintothe ritualimportanceofclothdatingbackperhapstothe4thcenturyandbeyond.Aslimitedasthe recordis,itconcernstheJavanesekingdomsofMatarambetweenthe9thand11thcentury,the cosmopolitan Srivijayan kingdoms prior to the 13th century, and the classical Majapahit kingdomsofKediriandSingasariwhichreachedtheheightoftheirpowerinthe14thCentury (see Hall 1985, Gesick 1983, KathirithanbyWells and Villiers 1990, Tarling 1992 and Wolters 1967,1970). Thesculpturesconsideredbelowprovideuswitharecordofthecultural,religiousand

political worlds in which the textiles existed as sacred possessions. Assumedly, the patterns carved in stone provide accurate records of highly valued textiles worn by royalty in specific ritualcontexts.Forinstance,theGaneshasculpturesprovideuswithafocalimageforrevisiting thespreadofBrahmanisminJavaduringthe4thand5thcenturieswhenSavaismbecamethe dominant faith. Similarly powerful sculptures of other HinduBuddhist deities record critical moments in the history of the Central Javanese kingdoms dating from the 9th to the 14th centuries when Tantric Buddhism and other traditions alternatively held sway in different courts and kingdoms before the coming of Islam (see Abrams 1990, Bernet Kempers 1976, 47

MiksicandSoekatno1995).Thesesculptureshavebeenwidelyreferredtointheliteratureand thetypicalapproachhasbeentoconsiderwhattheyrevealaboutsymbolsandritualandinter Asianrelations.However,muchlesshasbeenwrittenabouthowtheyproviderecordsofthe most valued textiles of the day. Not only do these classic examples in the National Museum provideuswithanhistoricalrecordoftextiledesignandstructurebuttheyalsorecordhowthe textileswereworn. DesignsinTime While archaeologists and anthropologists have long noted the fact of the existence of thisrecordoftextilesonstonesculpture(Iskandar2003:155,Maxwell2003:1,7274,2003,van derHoop1949:8081,228229),exceptforJohnGuysworkontheantiquityoftheAsiantextile trade record (1984: 5563), no one to my knowledge has studied this veritable archive of ancient textile information in Indonesia and elsewhere in a systematic fashion. In beginning suchatask,thispaperpaysspecialattentiontorevisitingGuysfocusononeparticularpattern found on many of these sculptures that of the overlapping arrays of circles. It is known in WestSumatraasthekawungorsplitpeanutpattern(Guy1984:62,Jessup2004:43,vander Hoop1949:80).Thereisalsoanabundanceofothercontextuallyrelevantinformationrecorded onthesesculpturessuchasthejewelry,thedepictionofthelotus(vanderHoop1949:26061), gesturalfeatures,theuseofskullsandotherritualparaphernalia.Inshort,thesetextilesshould beconsideredaspartofatotalassemblageworninspecificritualcontextsandasthehistorical andarchaeologicalcontextsofthesesculpturesiswelldescribedintheliterature,itispossible to place these textiles within both general and specific cultural histories of the Indianized HinduBuddhistSoutheastAsiankingdoms(seeBernettKempers1989,Dhamija2002,Fontein 1990aandb,Klokke1993,Maxwell2003,Miksic1992.Stutterheim1961,vanNaerssen1976). The central purpose of this paper is more simply to introduce the range of patterns found on these specimens in the museum and to focus on one key design element which is foundonseveralofthesesculptures,thekawungpattern.Inthisway,ifoneconsidersthese designelementsinrelationtothearchaeological,historicalandethnographicrecord,onegains afardeeperappreciationoftheantiquityofcontemporarytextilestraditionsthanonewould otherwisehavewithoutpayingattentiontosuchdetailsonthesesculptures.Simplyput,from


my observations as a museum ethnographer studying the National Museum, few museum visitors, even those with a deep interest in textiles, are remotely aware of just how much informationaboutIndonesianandAsiantextilehistoryisrecordedonthesesculptures. TheData: FocusingonSpecificPatternsonParticularSculptures A number of the finest sculptures in the main courtyard of the National Museum

provide detailed renditions communicating the magnificence of the original textiles worn in knownceremonialcontextsbyspecifichistoricalfiguresdepictedasdeitiesorotherwise.Iwill introducetheminorderasonewouldencounterthemafterenteringthefrontvestibule.For thesakeofspace,Iwillnotanalyzeindepthanyofthetextilesappearingonthesesculptures except for introducing some of the range that exists and for setting up the data on the specimens displaying the kawung pattern for ongoing analysis. And while there are other examplesinthecollectionandinothercollectionsinEuropeandelsewherethatareusefulin such an analysis I have chosen to introduce here only those examples which represent the finest,thatismostcarefullycarvedinstancesinthisparticularcollection. Thefirsttextileistobeseenimmediatelyuponenteringintothefrontvestibuleofthe

sculpture court. As shown below, if one carefully examines the waistcloth on the seated Ganeshasculptureitappearstobedamaskfloralpatternedchintz.Asfortheflowerdepicted,it comesasnosurprisethatitclearlyrepresentsthelotusflower.


Figure 1 (above). Floral pattern on the Ganesha sculpture in the front vestibule of the sculpture courtyard.CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.

Keepinmindthatattheotherendofthecourtyard,theTantricGaneshasculpturein the rear courtyard is decorated with a very different type of textile and patterns than the aboveillustrated specimen in the front courtyard. Though these are very different records of textilesofthattime,onequestionmightbecouldthematerialinFigure1havebeenatypeof chintzfabric?Verydifferently,onemightcomparethefabricsdepictedonbothGaneshasand posetheimpossibletoanswerquestions:Whichofthesemayhavebeenlocallyproducedand which may have been imported? Such questions are worth pondering considering the fascinating literature on IndianIndonesian textile history best represented in From Sari to Sarong(Maxwell2003).

Figure2.KingMalayuAdityavarman,#6470,C.1350.TheLastHinduBuddhistRulerofWestSumatra. PortrayedasaBhairava,aDemonicHinduBuddhistDeity.FromRambahan,Padangroco,WestSumatra. CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.


thecollectionarethetwoverydifferentspecimenswhichgracetheimposingBhairavaHindu King Adityavarman from West Sumatra depicted above. The sculpture dates to 13471375AD


(6470)andrepresentsademonicformofSiva,beinganiconicrecordofTantricHinduBuddhist beliefsofthatperiod(seeFigure2,alsoseeFontein1990:162,andfigure25p.163).Thewaist clothwithitsskullpatternssetinametricdiagonalfieldareclearlyTantricintheirimagery(see Figure3below).Thehanginglowerbodyclothisanextraordinaryrenditionofwhatmusthave been an exceptionally fine textile. The intricate and yet bold and powerful pattern has been recordedinpainstakingdetailbythesculptor(seeFigure4below).

Figure3(above).DetailfromFigure2.Noteskullpatternsinthetextileontheleft. CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.


Figure4(above).DetailfromFigure2.Notediagonalmetricallyorganizedsongketlikepatterns. CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.

Turningtoonesimmediateright,iffacingintothecourtyard,arethethreecompanions (consorts)ofAmithabaSyamatara(247b),Sudhanakumara(247a)andBhrkuti(112a),allfrom Candi Jago. They each wear identical intricately patterned waist cloths. These are similarly exceptionalrecordsoftextilesdatingtotheSingasariperiodofthe13thCenturyA.D.asshown belowinFigures5a,bandc.

Figure5a.Bhrkuti,#112a,AmoghapasasAttendant.FromCandiJago,Tumpang,Malang,E.Java,13M. CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.


Figure5b(above)andc(below).Sudhanakamara#247aandSyamatara#247b,Companionsofthe BodhisattvaAmoghapasa.FromCandiJago,Tumpang,Malang,E.Java,13M,SingasariPeriod.Courtesy theNationalMuseumofIndonesia.

At the other end of the courtyard, in the back atrium, there is a sculpture of

Kertaradjasa,thefirstkingofMajapahitandrulerofJavafrom1216to1231(seevanderHoop 1949:80).Someofthefabriconthissculptureisdecoratedwiththekawungpatternasisthe casewithseveraloftheotherroyalsculpturesintheatrium(seeFigure6below).

Figure6(above).Harihara#256/103a,Siva/Vishnu. Datingtothe13thCenturyitissaidtobeaportraitsculptureofKrtarajasa,thefirstKingofMajapahit. FromCandiSimping,Sumberjati,Blitar,E.Java.CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.


ThoughtheDurgaMasiswasculptureimmediatelyoppositefromKingKertaradjasa(socarefully drawnbyRafflesandconsideredfurtherbelow)hasthemostsumptuousandcarefulattention given to textile detail, the kawung patterns is not to be found on that particular statue. It is likelythatthisissignificantandpointstothesoundlyestablishedfactthatonlyroyalsworethe kawung pattern to signify their deified status (see Figure 7a and b below). Moreover, they continuedtodosointhecentralJavanesecourtswellintothecolonialperiod.

Figure 7a (above left). Detail of the God and Goddess (Dewa dan Dewi), # 5442, Hindu, 1314 AD. CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia. Figure 7b (above right). Detail of a textile with the kawung pattern represented on this sculpture. CourtesytheNationalMuseumofIndonesia.


courtlydressandaesthetics,thatis,weknowthereligiousandpoliticalcontextsinwhichthese textileswerewornthoughthisisanobviousalltowellknownpoint.Yet,forthenonspecialist, for the ordinary person visiting the national museum, it will surely be of interest to them to knowthesesculpturesprovideuswithresplendentrecordsoftheceremonialdressandjewelry worn by Kings and Queens in those eras. In this, these designs and forms, though fragile in themselves and thus lost to time, they have been rendered durable in stone, and to all purposesimmortalinbeingwovenandrewoventhroughtime.Wecanthusseeselectionsfrom


theroyalwardrobesofIndonesianantiquityondisplayinthecourtyardshouldwelookatthese sculpturesinthisway! Discussion Theserecordsofancienttextilesareofgreatsymbolicandaestheticinterestinthatthey

provide us with significant detail about the history of textiles antedating the oldest surviving specimens in museum collections. In the case of the floral textile depicted on the Ganesha sculpturedepictedinFigure1,WissemanChristieconsidersittorepresentanimportedIndian cloth (1993:17), presumably chintz. Moreover, Wisseman Christie notes that the existence of these type of textiles and patterns is confirmed in the Javanese inscriptions of textiles mentioned in gift lists recorded in stone (ibid.: 1923). In the presumably relevant instance here, the Javanese term for the pattern maramu lawelawe means floating flower patterns andwasrecordedinEastJavacirca918AD(ibid.:21).There,speakingtothelongevityofsuch patterns,WissemanChristieaddsthatthetermisalsoreminiscentofthedescriptionfoundin the14thcenturySutasoma(105:8)referringtoapatternedcloth:canglimirirlawoCauli(cloth) with gently blowing flowers petals. Most importantly, the author also notes that the description of this cloth perhaps from Caul in India could be applied to patterns depicted on many 9th and 10th century Javanese statues, in which floral patterns are scattered on a plain ground,andwhichlookmoreIndianthanJavanese(ibid.). Naturallyonemightthenapproachalloftheinstancesoftextilesrepresentedonsuch sculptureswiththisinmind.TheymaywellhavebeenimportedtradeclothsfromIndia.Itisof coursenotpossibletoknoworevenhypothesizewhichexamplesdiscussedinthispapermight havebeenproducedlocally.Futureresearchontextilepatternsinsculpturesinotherpartsof Asiamayormaynotaddsignificantlytosuchspeculationbuttheonefundamentalfactthatwe knowisforcertainisthattradeclothsfromIndiawerehighlyvaluedpresumablyforcenturies beforeandindeed,eversince(seeGuy2003).Forinstance,recentlytheinfluenceandheritage ofIndianpatolaclothhasevenbeendocumentedinWestTimorcontrarytotheassertionsin theearlierliterature(Barrkman2007).ThelikelyhoodthenisthatalloftheseclothswereIndian importsthoughthefollowingexamplesinthefigures8aandbbelowmaycomplicatethis.


Figure 8 a and b (below) are details of demonic related cloth represented on the Ganesha sculpture from the Singasari, Kadiri Period lasting from 1403 through 1681. As with thecaseoftheBharaivaShivaistictantricspecimensontheBharaivaitispossiblethatsomeof these designs and cloths were local in contrast to the Indian imports. I hypothesize that this may be the case as this particular form of demonic Buddhism has been reported as a local inventionwhichspreadfromIndonesiatoTibet.Neverthelesstheheartshapedbeltdoesseem distinctlyIndianandasfarasIknowisrarelyrepresentedinIndonesiantextiles.

Figure 8 a and b (above). Details on a demonic Savaist related cloth represented on the GaneshasculpturefromtheSingasari,KadiriPeriodlastingfrom1403through1681intherear courtyard.CourtesyNationalMuseumofIndonesia. RevisitingRafflesandMohendroDaro


Figure9(above).DurgaSlayingtheDemonMahisa,C.1300.EastJava,CandiSingasari. CourtesyNationalMuseumofIndonesia.

OfallthesculpturesinthecourtyardoftheNationalMuseumofIndonesia,perhapsthe mostlyricalandmostwellknownsculptureisDurgaSlayingtheDemonMahisafromSingasari inEastJavacirca1300(seeFigure9,alsoseeFontein1990:159,Raffles1965:65).Thetextiles intricately recorded on this and the other sculptures introduced earlier sculpture must have beenspectacularifoneimagineswhattheymayhavelookedlikebasedonourappreciationof thefinesttextilesproducedtodayinIndia,ThailandandIndonesia.Takeforinstancethesilken fabricsbyBaronsofinelywovenastobeessentiallyobjectsofwonderorJosephineKomaras (Obin) sumptuously colorful, meticulous and innovative batik. Keeping such living quality in mind,wecaneasilyimaginehowstunningtheSingasarispecimensmusthavebeensoasnotto lamentthefragilityoftraditionlestwemissoutonthedegreetowhichlocalgeniusandthe spiritofcreativityendures. Inconcludingthisfirstpartofthepaperthen,twobasicpointshavebeenmade.First,

thesesculpturesprovideuswithanextraordinaryrecordofancienttextilesinspecifichistorical contexts.Second,thesedesignsandtraditionsareinfacthighlydurableandnotfragile.What wehavehereisanextraordinaryrecordofdesign.Takethepatternonthebodiceandouter waist cloth made up of nonoverlapping arrays of circles in the above sculpture of Durga as illustratedinRafflesHistoryofJava,Figure10(overpage),perhapsthemostfamousofallofhis illustrations. Such sculptures and illustrations allow us to place these very finely detailed representationsoftextileswithinrelativelyprecisehistoricalcontexts. Whatissointerestingaboutthesetextiledepictionsonthesculpturesconsideredsofar isthattheymayassumedlyhavebeendepictionsofthetypeofactualtextileswornforinstance in rituals during the time of the fall of the kingdom of Singasari in a coup in which King Kretanagarawasassassinatedin1292duringaTantricritual.Inaddition,thefactthatboththe Goddess Durga and Prajnaparamita, the Goddess of Transcendental Wisdom, wear this particulartypeofclothdecoratedwithnonoverlappingcirclesinFigure9and10addsfurther contextual significance considering that they are considered perfect counterparts from the sameunfinishedshrine(Fontein1990:158).Someofthesedesignsdepictedofthesesculptures


have continued to be worn and produced for the intervening centuries throughout the archipelago.Lastly,itgoeswithoutsayingthatmanyofthesedesignsparticulartheoverlapping circles of the kawung pattern were widely used throughout the HinduBuddhist world and in manyotherculturesandtimes.

Figure10.Durga,calledLaraJonggrangbytheModernJavans.FromaSubjectinStonebroughtfrom Brambanan London, Published by Black Parbury and Allen, Leadenhall Stree. 1817. Sir Thomas StamfordRaffles.PublishedinPlatestoHistoryofJava.1988.Singapore:OxfordUniversityPress

Intheinstance,ofthenonoverlappingcirclesonpatolaclothwithinternaljilamprang motifs (eight pointed stars or flowers which have been symbolically identified with the Wali Songowithinthecirclesandmandalaswithinthediamonds)havebeeneithertheprerogative ofeitherroyaltyortheeliteassociatedwithroyalty.Thisparticulardesigniswelldocumented as being one of the most sacred and expensive heirloom textiles. In this, the archaeological record considered in this paper merely confirms the well documented situation in which particularpatternsandtextiletypeshaveanenduringstatusandvalueinIndonesia.Infact,as wewillseefurtherbelow,thedocumenteduseoftherelatedpatternoftheoverlappingcircles whichgeneratesthedynamicfourpetalledmetricpattern,popularlyknowninIndonesiatoday


as the kawung (splitpea) design has been found on textiles and ceramics goes back to 3000 B.C.inMohendroDaronorthernIndiaandelsewhere.Beforedoingso,furthercommentonthe nonoverlappingcircularpatternisusefulastherehasbeenspecificdiscussiononthetopicin theliterature. ContextualizingAncientTextiles andInferringInformationaboutTechniquefromtheSculpturalRecord For myself as an anthropologist interested in religion and symbolism, and in this

particular case study gender, cloth and archaeology, the statue of Prajnapramita is especially significant(seeFarrerHalls2002,andFontein1990:161,Figure24).Thissculptureisfromthe samesiteandperiodastheDurgasculpturediscussedimmediatelyaboveandassuchaddsto the special density of this contextualized textile design record. Prajnaparamitas waist cloths star pattern is also produced between the nonoverlapping circles in this case rather than betweentheellipses.However,thisisaparticularlyadvancedforminthatithasverydifferent infillelements,boldandyetdelicategeometricdesigns.Thegeometricdesignwithinthestar is,asintheDurga,alsoastylizedflowerpatternandtheoveralleffect,particularlyoftheouter andinnerlowermostwaistclothsarereminiscentofdesignelementsandthepatternfieldin contemporaryandhistoricMinangkabausongket. Theselasttwosculpturesareimportantnotonlyasthetextilesrepresentedherewere

inalllikelihoodactuallyworninthecourtofKingKretanagarabutthattheymaywellhavebeen some of the most valued textiles owned by the Queen of Singasari posthumously identified withPrajnaparamitawhetheritwasQueenRajapatni,adaughterofKingKretanagaraandthe QueenofKingKretarajasawhoreignedfrom12931309orPutriDedeswifeofKingAngrokwho had became the first King of Singasari in 1222 and was a daughter of a Buddhist priest of a Mahayanasect(Fontein1990:160).Thoughwecannotreliablyinferagreatdealofinformation about technique, at least at this point in scholarly research as it stands, we can certainly reconstructandrecreatetheseclothsfromthepartsthatarerepresentedandanalyzethemin termsofhowtheywerewornandincombinationwithwhatotherclothandjewelryandeven onwhatoccasionsandinwhatcourts.


Forthemoment,theissueofattemptingtodeterminetextiletechniqueisimportantbut asofyetnotclearlyenoughdebatedforanyrealconsensustohaveemerged.Asoneauthor writes: Someattemptshavebeenmadetousepatternsonstoneandmetalantiquities fromtheseearlyperiodsasevidenceindating,buttheyarenotdetailedenough toindicatetextiletechnique.Forinstance,ninthandtenthcenturytemplewall carvings in Indonesia have been identified as batik patterns, but because such patterns may also be done in a supplementary weft technique, there is no assurance that batik is represented here, Indeed, the precise vertical and horizontalalignmentandthecomplexityofthemetricallyrepeatedmotifsargue forasourceinweavingratherthaninthedyersart. Van der Peet concurs that this stepwise metrical treatment of repeated motifs is technically determined by weaving. Indeed, all the authorities on the subject relate that it is highly probable that such luxury textiles whether it be in Burma or Indonesia represent imported Indiancloth(seeforinstanceGuy1998:56,62andGreen2004:17). AsGuywritesabouttheinterlocking(overlapping)circlepatternrepresentedonmany

ofthesesculptures: TheearliestsurvivingIndiantextilestodisplayitwerefoundinEgyptandmaybe dated to around the midthirteenth century, contemporary with a Javanese GanesasculpturewhichisinscribedwithadateequivalenttoAD1239....Itis highly probably that that the Ganesa was represented wearing a prestigious imported Indian cloth. This design became and important pattern in the later Javanesebatikrepertoire,whereitwasknownaskawung(1998:62). Thoughthehistoryoftheoriginofresistdiedclothandbatikisstillnotfirmlyestablished,the references that do exist for Java do push back the evidence for batik in the HinduBuddhist contexttothelate12thCenturyandinIndiafromatleastthelate9thCentury(ibid)aswillbe brieflyexploredfurtherbelow. JohnGuyandothershavedocumentedtheearliestexamplesofthekawungdesignin

surviving textiles as the Fostat specimens (see Barnes 1990, Guy 1984:62, Van der Hoop 1949:81,WissemanChristie1993:17).Thoughwehaveactualremnantsofthesetextilestraded from India to Egypt, and thus are certain about their exact nature of how the mordant dyed patternswereproduced,technicallyspeakingwestilldonotknowexactlywhattypesoftextiles are depicted on the Javanese statuary. This is an enduring and important issue. For instance, 60

Wisseman Christie writes that the textiles recorded on the Indonesian HinduBuddhist sculpturesshowthatsignificantchangetookplaceinthelater13thand14thcenturiesinterms ofthedesignsonthefabrics.Theybecameincreasinglydense,elaborateandfinelydrawn.She notesthatitseemsunlikelythatthesewereproducedbydoubleikattechniquesastheearliest references to double ikat (gringsing) in the Javanese literature do not occur until the mid fourteenthcentury(1993:17,Pigeaud1960:1,16).HoweverChristiealsoaddsthatitappears thatnotallofthetextilesrepresentedonthestatuarywereintendedtodepictIndianimports andthatsomeofthemappeartobeJavaneseinterpretations. UnfortunatelyWissemanChristiedoesnotspecifywhichsculpturesandwhichparticular

textiles,heisreferringtobuthedoesprovideuswithcluesastohowtoproceed.Specifically, he proposed that the Javanese patterns are denser, have narrower borders which lack the Indianbordermotifsandmorerealisticallyandfrequentlyusefloralandvegetalelements.The intriguingtasknowbeforeusistostudythetextilesdepictedonthesesculpturesinmoredepth soastoillustratethesedifferenceswhileatthesametimereflectingupontheassertionthat thesedivergentaestheticdistinctionsinthemselvesareindeedproofofJavaneseasopposedto Indian origin or rather more a reasonable and educated speculation. Perhaps the strongest caseforalocaltextileisthewaistclothdecoratedbyskullsontheBhairavasculpture.Thismay have been the case as it was from Indonesia, according to some accounts, that the Tantric Buddhism of Tibet with its skull imagery and related rituals received some of its strongest symbolic impulses. Certainly some of the most powerful sculptures in the collection in the National Museum referred to in this paper are replete with both the sexual and demonic imagery typical of Tantrism as well as the associated inscriptions making these references explicit. To return to the issue at hand however, Guy very specifically argues that the cloths

underdiscussionherecouldnothavebeenpatola.Hebasesthisonthelogicthatthehistorical recordsshowthatIndiansilkpatolasonlybecameavailablecenturieslater(1993:18)whenthey became important royal tribute gifts in the 18th and 19th centuries (Guy 1984:72). However MaxwellwritesinSaritoSarongthathighstatussilkandgoldtextileshadbeenintimatelytied to the rise of royal court centers throughout the Indonesian region from as early as the first


millennium AD (2003:72). My preference is to concur with Maxwell. Indeed, Maxwell adds significant detail to the difficulty of distinguishing between imported fabrics and those produced locally stating that the textiles depicted on this statuary are Malay brocades, specificallykainsongketlimaproducedinaninternationaltextileformthattranscendedthe borderofprincipalitiesandechoedthetransIndonesianpenchantforimportedluxuryfabrics (op.cit,73,75). AsMaxwellwrites: The designs displayed on these silk and gold textiles demonstrate many internationalinfluences....Malaybrocadesarefilledwithschematicpatterns and floral nuances more attune with the much admired decorative arts of MughalIndia.Framedwithindecorativebordermeandersandenclosedateach end by elaborate designs, often incorporating triangular patterns, the field patternsareareflectionofthecosmopolitansourcesavailablefordesignersof luxury textiles and the multicultural flavour of Indonesian city states. The elaborateenddesignsareadecorativefeaturewhenthelongrectangulartextile iswrappedaroundthelowertorso,fallinginornamentalfoldsdownthefrontof thebody.Thisisthemostprominentgarmenttobeobservedonthesculptureof classical Hindu and Buddhist Indonesia. The garments of, and the waythey are worn by, male and female deities, and also royal couples, are indistinguishable andoftenpreciselymatchingindesignandpatterns(2003:73,itals.mine). These garments were not just the preferred fabric for state ceremonials: they provided a meansforvisualizingthecomplexstatussystemsthatsupportedcourtritual(ibid.).AndasI haveemphasizedthroughitalicizingthelastsentencesofMaxwellsdiscussion,theverysame typeofgarments,withmatchingdesignsandpatterns,arefoundonroyalcouplesanddeities. No doubt, if one examines sculptures from these periods which have found their way into Europeancollections,therecordwillaugmentandconfirmorcomplicatethisobservation. Maxwellwritesthatsongketwasintroducedintotheregionearlyinthe14thCenturyby

ArabtradersfromGujarat(Dhamija2002:82,Kartiwa1991/2:6162)andstilltoday,Sumatran songketsarewovenwithverysimilardesignsandassumedlytechniques.Consideringtheshifts discussed by Wisseman Christie above and which took place in sumptuary rules in Javanese courtsearlierinthe11thCenturyitispossiblethatsomeofthesegarmentsdepictedonthese sculptures particularly on the Bhairava sculpture were indeed songkets though Wisseman Christie proposes that prior to songket reaching back three hundred years previously to the


earlysecondmillennium,theonlytechniquementionedinthechartersandliteraturewastulis warnameaningdrawingincolor(1991:18).Itwouldseemhowevertobedefinitivelythecase that the textiles on these sculptures are not songket because of they way they are worn, because of the way they follow the intimately follow the contours of the body and they way theyfoldandhang,aswellasinsomeinstancesthenatureoftheborders. Aside from these important basic questions such as what kind of textiles are

represented on these sculptures, the ancient prerogative of royal elites to use cloths with particular designs is ofcourse a well described phenomenon in the literature whether or not one can discern a patola from a batik inspired by a patola. Both certainly coexisted in the Javanese courts in the 19th century and they are again understood to have been continually inspiredbyIndianimportsthoughmorerecentauthorscritiquetheIndicentricviewarguingfor Chineseandotherinfluences(Heringa1996).Nevertheless,asWissemanChristiewrites: ItissurelysignificantthatsomeofthebatikpatternsofcentralJavawhichwere restrictedtomembersoftheroyalfamilycanberecognizedasbeingborrowed or adapted from Indian textile: for example, those called kawang picus, jajakusamaandcakarmelikareallpatolainspiredwhilesembagenhukisbased onresistdyedIndianimports...(1991:119). Thequestionthenisthis:Howfarbackwecantracethistypeofphenomenon?Canweever makeanyrealprogresstowardsidentifyingwhichclothsontheHinduBuddhistsculptureswere madeofwhat,whereandhow?Inalllikelihoodwewillneverknowbutitneverthelessremains an interesting issue to ponder as anthropologists and art historians continue to study the historyofIndonesianandSoutheastAsiantextilesineverincreasingdetail. ItisessentiallycertainthatpatolawasanimportantelitetradegoodinthelateHindu Buddhist period. A 15th Century Javanese text Wangbang Wideya specifically recorded that some of the cloth worn by royalty was patawala, namely patola from Gujarati origin (Guy 1984:63,Robson1971).Furtherspeakingtotheclothslongevity,ordurability,thePortuguese records show that it was imported from the 16th Century and especially in the 17th and 18th Centuries (van der Peet 1964:21) and today patola heirlooms continue to be used in rituals across the archipelago (Barnes 1991, Maxwell 2003, Anas 2007). Nevertheless it remains a matterofdebatewhetherorwhichoftheseparticularclothsrepresentedonthesesculptures


were imported as opposed to made locally. Moreover the intertwined history of all textile forms including songket and batik, cindhe (chintz) and geringsing also continues to remain a matteroflivelydebateandresearch. Forinstance,VanderPeetinmakingacriticaldistinctionbetweenwarpikatincotton and weft ikat in silk proposes that the ikat imports could have begun as early as the 14th Centurywhileaddingthatitisimpossibletosayforcertainwhethertheclothstradedinthose dayswerethesameasthesilkenclothsdecoratedindoubleikatthatarestillknowntodayby thenameofpatola(1964:19).Thoughotherauthorshaveassumedthattheyarecertainlynot batikandthatbatikwasintroducedmuchlater,vanderPeetprovidesaverybroadpossibility of batik as having been produced locally between the 7th and 15th Centuries (ibid.:26) and quotesAlfredSteinman(1958)thatitisconceivablethatalreadyinthe11thor12thCenturythe CinglaesehadbroughtitfromtheSouthEastDeccantoEasternIndiaandthustoJava(ibid.).In anyevent,itisgenerallyacknowledgedthatIndianpatolaclothhadasignificantinfluenceon local textiles, particularly on batik. This is especially significant considering the distinct resemblances in the patterns and the strictly metrical and geometrically disciplined arrangementofmotifsinwhichtheornamentationisproducedbydividinguptheareatobe decorated into geometrical figures such as squares, rhomboids, polygons, etc., which may or maynotbesubdividedintoothergeometricalfigures....(vanderPeet1964:29). Intime,otherresearchers,particularlyGittinger(1989),Barnes(1994),Hamilton(1994),

Maxwell(2003)andhavedelvedintothehistoryandcomplexityofthewayinwhichthisbasic structure and others have been developed in Indonesian textiles, whether it be in patola or batikorotherforms.YetMaxwellemphasizesthatthedevelopmentofbatikwouldseemmore closely connected to Indian chintz. Regardless of these difficult issues surrounding what amounttodurablememorybanksthismuchiscertain: [T]heexclusivityofthedesigns,however,isfirmlylocatedroutedinahistoryof thecontrolofluxurytradeitems.Hencethesepatterns,likeothersderivedfrom Indiantreasures,arewornonlybymembersoftheJavanesearistocracy.Inthe central principalities in particular, it was the silk patola that had been conspicuously worn in the royal court as skirts and sashes by princes and princesses alike. The same applied to locally made batik exhibiting trade cloth patterns(ibid.:145). 64

There Maxwell concludes that the most effective way of securing the power and majesty of tradeclothimagerywastotransfersymbolsandmotifsontolocaltextilesandthattheselocal transformationsweresosuccessfulthatintheendtheyeclipsedtheIndiantextileseveninthe international trade (ibid.: 116). This argument runs counter to the idea dominating the first part of this paper in which Indian imports were assumed to have perhaps been considered morepowerfulprestigeitemsthanlocalcloths. TheOverlappingCircleorKawungPattern TheoverlappingcirculararraypatternedtextilecanbeseenontheHariharasculpture

(256/103a)simultaneouslyrepresentingtheHinduGodSivaVishnuandKingKrtarajasathefirst kingofMajapahitinEastJava(Figure5),andtheGoddessParvati(256/103b),wifeofSivaas Queen Tribhuwanottunggadewi Queen of Majapahit who ruled at Candi Rimbi in East Java in the 14th Century A.D. from 13281350. The same patterns are also to be found on the Hindu GodandGoddess(5442)datingsimilarlyorearliertothe13thor14thCentury.Thispatternis historically of particular significance as textiles with these patterns were prestigious trade goodsexportedfromIndiatomarketsasfarafieldfromFustatinEgyptinthisperiod(asnoted earlierinthispaper),inJapanintheEdoPeriodandintheByzantineera. TheearliestdocumentationofthedesigninAsiadatesbackfourthousandyearstothe

IndusValleyonaceramicpotexcavatedatMohendroDaro(Green2004:15).JohnGuynotes thatthepatternhasbeenfoundacrossAsiaandfindsevidenceforitslaterantecedentsinfirst centuryNorthIndia(1998:62).FragmentsofGujaraticlothwiththisdesigndatingtothemid thirteenthcenturyhavebeenfoundinarchaeologicalsitesinFustat(OldCairo),Egypt(ibid.:63). As Guy notes, the earliest record of it in Indonesia is to be found on the back of a Ganesha sculpture from the Singasari period found at Bara, near Blitar in eastern Java. This sculpture thusarguablyhasaluxuryIndianexportclothdatingtothesameperiodastheFustatspecimen ofthesamedesignthoughithastheslightlyearlierdateofAD1239(ibid.:62).Inaddition,the samepatterncanbefoundonthebackofanothersculptureofatempleguardianatPantaran alsonearBlitardatingoveracenturylaterto1347.


Van der Peet makes particular reference to the ancestral kawung pattern found in

Fostat.Ashewrites: These denser axial patterns began to appear on Javanese statuary in the late tenth or eleventh centuries, at least some of them bearing a resemblance to someoftheIndiantextilesfoundamongsttheremainsofOldCairo.Oneofthe moststrikingparallelsisfoundbetweenthepatternofinterlockingcircleswith floral infill dated to the later thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in Middle Easternarchaeologicalcontexts(Barnes1991)andthatillustratedonanumber of statues of the same centuries in East Java. This particular patter is a clear ancestor of the kawung design so important in the traditional Javanese batik repertoire. Theoverlappingcirclepatternisconceptuallyinterestingintermsofhowitcanbeseen

asdistinctlydifferentofdifferentelementsbutyetsimultaneouslyachievingthesamepattern of a flower composed of four petals or overlapping circles with ellipses and a central star pattern.Cognitivelyonecannotseebothpatternsatthesametimesuchthateyeeithersees oneortheotherorshiftsbackbetweenthemandthiscreatesauniquedynamic. Inaddition,VanderPeetprovidesasuccinctandyetdetaileddescriptionintermsofthe

kawungpatternasbeingcomposedasanellipsewithtwofocalpoints.Ashewrites: These ellipses are placed crosswise opposite one another; repetition of this placing at regular intervals forms the decorative filling of the whole area. Between the ellipses, four pointed star figures are formed, which in turn are providedwithasaruleaveryplain,stylizedflowermotif.Thispattern,whichis easilyrecognizable,allowsonlylimitedpossibilitiesforvariation(1964:30). Continuing with this description, this author describes how the most important variation is limitedtogroupingtogetherfourellipsesinsideonelarge,encirclingellipse,asaresultofwhich thepatternobtainsamorecoherentcharacterwhichhasbecomeasacredpatterninbatikart andevenbythe1960sasourceofscholarlydebate.Forexample,hecitesG.P.RauffaerandH. H.JuyunbollwhoarguethatthedesigndatesbacktheHinduJavanesepatternappearingina picture (sic?) from Kediri dating from 1239, which itself was originally a simplified i.e. four petalled...lotusbudmotif(ibid.).Lastly,VanderPeeetisexplicitthattheoriginaltextilesin which these patterns wereexecuted were probably not batik but that they would have been goldleafappliedtocloth(ibid.).


Thekawungpatternhasbeenlocalizeddifferentlyifitisanimporteddesignelement. While in Van der Hoops analysis kawung refers to the sugar palm fruit in Sundanese and Javanese(1949:78),forJessupitreferstothesplitpeanutamongsttheMinangkabauinWest Sumatra(ibid.:43).AndwhilethemodifiedforminsongketclothinWestSumatraisknownas balahkacang(Bart2006:35),inJavathedesignappearsnottorefertoasplitpeanutbuttoa starfruitdividedacrossthemiddle.Twoothercontemporaryvariantsofthisdesigncanalsobe seen in Kartiwa (1991/1992:50, 52) wherein she refers to the pattern in Madurese batik (as recordedbyJudiTriani,1983)askembangkopi(ibid.:96).Finally,inJapan,thepatternissaidto refertoriceandallthingsfertileandgood(,themost basicstandardversionwhichrecapitulatesthedesignonthesculpturescanbeseenoncopper batikstamps(seeKartiwa1095/86:88andMylius1964:n.p.fig.26).Ofcourse,thosefamiliar withtheJavanesewayangtraditionwillknowthatthewiseclownSemaralwayswearsasarong withakawungpattern.

FurtherHistoricalContext:ActualAccountsofAncientTextileFashion Woro Aryandini Sumaryoto (1993) has translated and discussed the records of actual

textilesworninparticularhistoricalcontextsandpreservedacrosstimeinJavaneseliterature. Thedetailsprovidedinthesetextssuchasthecontextsandthecolors,thematerialsanduses ofthetextilesaresopreciseastobesomewhatshockingconsideringhowonewouldotherwise haveassumedthatsuchdescriptionswouldhaveescapedus.Thesetextsthusaddyetanother dimension to the durability of the historical record pertaining to textiles and the continuing significanceofsuchmaterials,includingtheirmysticalrelevanceandritualfunctioninIndonesia today. The Javanese literature is especially relevant to the focus on particular sculptures and

designschoseninthispaperasrecordedinadescriptionofKingKartanegaraacceptingRaden Wijaya as his soninlaw. In Sumaryotos translations we can read exquisite detail about the clothesvariousparticipantsworeontheseritualoccasionssuchasgeringsingkawungdepicted on the sculpture of Raden Wijaya as King Kartarajasa in the National Museum. In this remarkable account, Sumaryoto condenses the relevant information from the Kidung


Harsawijaya adapted in the 16th through 18th Centuries to memorialize the history of the MajapahitandKedirikingdomsbythoseJavanesewhohadrefusedIslamandfledtoBali.Ashe relates: Onceuponatime,KingKartanegarafromSinghasaricametoaroyalassembly, dressed in a choice sinjang ornamented with gold threads, and a belt made of textilewithexcquisiteornamentation(Song1,Verse34b).Inthisassemblythe king expressed his will to take Raden Wijaya as his soninlaw, and therefore RadenWijayawascalledtoattendit. Raden Wijaya dressed himself in a red silk sinjang ornamented with a tumpal (triangle ornament) decorated with a floral design made of a beautiful gold threadsewnonit,andafabricbeltwithaspecialfloraldesignwhichwaspainted usingliquidgold(Song1,verse40b). RadenWijayaappearedwithallthecourtlyregalia,withayellowfabricumbrella above him, followed by his young followers. . . . . Dangdi wore a red sinjang ornamented with white tumpal and golden drawing, and a cloth belt of geringsingkawungdesign(Song1,verse40b).... Thus, Raden Wijaya presented himself to the queen who dressed in geringsing wayang design and decorated with floral patterns in liquid gold, and a pink kampuhwithgoldthreads,theuppersideofwhichwasmadeofgreensilk(Song 1,verse59b).Therehewasmetbythetwoprincessesofthekingwhoworea sinjang geringsing kawung made of selected find cloth with tumpal ornament, redatthebottomandgreenontop(Song1,verse62a62b).Andthentheking presentedhimaroyaldress...(Song1,verse75a,76a). In addition to this type of rare detail on the royal use of the kawung pattern in double ikat (geringsing),thesetextsrecordallmannerofotherdetails. Thisissomuchsothecasethatafinegrainedanalysisofpattern,color,textiletypeand origin of textiles and much else of the HinduBuddhist period could be reconstructed in a manner which would have been inconceivable without them. We learn here that the royals clothes were made of patawala (patola, gaily coloured cloth) and geringsing (a particular type of textile, with double ikat technique), and randi (a ribbed silk fabric of Chinese or Siameseorigin)aswellasotherformsofclothmadefromsatinandsilkasgivenintheabove poeticdescriptionsofthebetrothalceremony.Itisalsointerestingthattheauthorreferstothe kawungpatternasageometricalcubewithdiagonalornamentandthattheywerepainted


with liquid gold (1993:33). If we accept this as the final word because of the historical specificity of this period of the record of these designs on this type of textile, then the discussion over technique in some part would seem to have been laid to rest in a most unexpectedfashion.Prada!YetthedesignsendureanditistothisdurabilityofformthatIturn toinconclusion,specificallythekawungmotifyetagain.Itisaparticularlyfertileandenduring motif.Beingasimplemotiftocreate,andbeingubiquitousacrossAsiaandAfricaacrossthe millennia,thereareprobablyasmanyinstancesoflocalinventionasdiffusionbytrade. FragilityorDurability? For the subjects of conservation, appreciation and acculturation addressed in this

conference, the pattern of overlapping circles, known by some as the kawung pattern, is important as it has remained a constant in the vocabulary of wide ranging use of this design across the millennia. It is a simple solution to creating a complex pattern by repeatedly overlapping a basic geometric form. The overlapping pattern creates two sets of patterns constitutingadynamicfieldproducingaveryspecificformofcognitiveagitationinwhichthe eyecan focus either on the petal shapes or the overlapping circles but not both at the same time. It has retained its aesthetic hold over the decorative imagination across time having beentheprerogativeoftheroyaleliteinpreIslamictimes.Thepatternenduredthroughthe riseandthefallofthegreatHinduBuddhistcourts,theexpansionofIslaminthe16thcentury andthenDutchcolonialismandtheVOCclothtrade.Itsurvivedthroughindependenceandto thisdayithasproventobeoneofthemostdurablemotifsanddesignstructuresinIndonesia textilehistory. Despitethecaveatgivenattheendofthelastsection,itseemsfromthearchaeological

and historical record that this design came to Indonesia as part of the larger trade in patola clothandthatovertimeitbecameincorporatedintolocaltraditionalrepertoires.Thelogicfor making such an argument is that kawung design does not occur in the Dongson Bronze Age periodanddoesnotappeartopredatetheHinduBuddhistperiodinIndonesianasfarasIam aware. Very differently however, the all important triangular tumpal patterns do appear to havegreaterlocaldepthbeingsosimpleapatternastobeuniversal.Eitherwaythetumpalhas


become so closely associated with the patola cloths as to be structurally almost linguistically connectedifweconsidertextilestylesassynonymousinthemostsimplisticsensetolanguages. It has become connected to the kawung design as border elements and both have been transposed as coevolved design elements across time (Heine Geldern 1966:179, Fig. 16). For some, both elements speak to the adaptation of foreign influences, selecting, modifying and localizingthem.ItisthispenchantisthathasbeentermedtheIndonesiangeniusthoughitis ofcoursebasictoallartformsandtechnologiesinalltimesandplaces. This selection of sculptures in the collection in the National Museum is therefore of

particularpreviouslyundetailedimportanceasregardsthedetaileddepictionsoftextilesthey provide. They allow us to locate specific textile designs and patterns in the exact historical context in which they were worn as described above. Thus when combined with the unexpected richness of the local literary sources, the record provides us with remarkable insightintothehistoryoftextilesinIndonesia.Andthoughwewoulddowelltopayattention to the as of yet unexplored Chinese and Arabic literary and archival record, Sumaryoto has provideduswithallweneedtoknowaboutthepenultimatemeaningofthekawungpatternin theJavanesecontextatthattime.Moreover,heevendetailshowthedesignwasappliedand notwovenintothefabric.Thisisnottosaythatthiswasthecaseinthetextilesunderanalysis inthissampleattheNationalMuseum. ConsiderthisremarkableJavaneseexplicationaboutthekawungpatternandwhyKing

Kartarajasa as representative of God and founder of the Majapahit Kingdom wore a sinang kawungtosymbolizethathewastheprotectoroftheworldwhileheruledfrom1294to1309. Herein Sumaryoto provides the most detailed explanation about the design as understood in Javanese aesthetics. This evinces a durability of meaning in time which runs contrary to Westernarthistoricalunderstandingsofthelifeofformsintime(seeFocillon1934/89,Reese 1985). Thissymbolizestherelationshipbetweentheupperandthelowerpowersofthe universe. The pattern refers to the cosmic magical classification of the old Javaneseconceptoflife.Accordingtothisconcept,manhasamagicalrelation with the universe. The universe is divided into two opposing parts but at the same time each part complements the other; therefore one part cannot be thrownawaysinceitsymbolizesthehumancharacter.Suchaconceptmayhave


been known since prehistoric times, and it was continued as tradition by the JavaneseHindukingdoms,asshownbythestatueofKingKartarajasa(1993:36). In addition, further speaking to the longevity and durabilityof tradition in Indonesian, to this day,theJavanesewayangfigureofSemarwearsakawungpatternedwaistclothsymbolizing protection,supernaturalpowerandmagicalrelations. Conclusion Animportantcomponentofmyresearchonthetextilesdepictedonthesculpturesin

theNationalMuseumhasbeentorecreatethedesignsasfaithfullyaspossiblesoastogeta better sense of what they may have looked like and to bring them alive in a technical and sensory way. To do so I worked with Bernhard Bart on two of these designs, one from the SudhnakamaraandtheotherfromtheBhairawaasreproducedherebelow.StudioErikaRianti created a single songket version of the Sudhnakamara design in green silk with fine silver thread so as to create a soft wearable songket which was presented to the audience at the conclusionofthispaperspresentation.Towardsthefuture,myvisionwastoonedayhavea fashionshowinthecourtyardoftheNationalMuseuminwhichtheseelaboratelydressedgods and goddesses of the past would emerge from the front vestibule into the courtyard as if magicallycomealive.


Figures 11 a and b (above page). Computer generated textile patterns from the Sudhanakamara and BharaiwasculptureintheNationalMuseumofIndonesiareadiedforproductionbyBernhardBart.

To end then, how much more durable can a tradition be? As regards the patola and kawung patterns which have been the main focus of this study, if the pattern had indeed originated in the patola tradition, which all extant evidence points to, then the life of this design and technique in time goes far back far and wide in time and space. Not just for 700 yearsinJava,thatistotheMajapahiteraandtheChineseMingperiodandtoFustatinEgyptin thesametimesanderalierbutallthewaybacktoMohendroDarointhe4thCenturyB.C.asthe Indian literary sources relate. Naturally, though there may be no connections at all between these traditions, but in some cases there could be. Thus it is interesting to ponder how in ceramics in northern India there are depictions of full length outfits worn by men in the 3rd millennium B.C. and how today we continue to use the same designs. Even if there are no connections, these patterns and range of techniques present thus the very definition of durabilityofformsbutnotmeaningsintime. So to end one might ask this final question: Does all this richness of design and techniqueintimenotcallintoquestionourassumptionsaboutthefragilityoftraditions?Just asinspirationalclothshavebeeneithertreasuredinIndonesiaassacredheirloomsandwoven andrewovengenerationsaftergenerationsinIndia,sohaveparticulardesignsandtechniques beenreworkedincontextaftercontext,centuryaftercentury. Bibliography Achchadi,J. 1998 TheJakartaTextileMuseum.MuseumTextilJakarta:Jakarta Barnes,R. 1991aPatolainSouthernLembata.InIndonesianTextiles:Symposium1985,pp.43 55,ed. M.Gittinger, Barnes,R. 1991bIndiantradeclothinEgypt:theNewberryCollection.Proceedingsofthe TextileSocietyofAmerica.1990 . 1996 IndianTradeTextiles,Hali87:8085. 2004 TextilesinIndianOceanSocieties.NewYork:Routledge. BernettKempers,A.J. 72

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Traditional Ikat and Textiles of the Dayak Benuaq in East Kalimantan and Some Indigenous Bark Cloths Herwig Zahorka, Msc

Introduction Only two ethnic Dayak tribes in Borneo produce ikat textiles; these are the Dayak Iban in Malaysias Sarawak and in parts of West Kalimantan, and the Dayak Benuaq in Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan. For their warp ikat weaving, the Benuaq use the fibers from the leaves of Doyo, which is Curculigo latifolia Dryander, Amaryllidaceae. The textiles indigenous name is Ulap Doyo. The weaving is carried out with a back strap loom. The Doyo fibers are extremely durable and tear proof. During recent decades, synthetic dyes from the textile industry have mostly replaced the genuine plant dyes. Men wear vests and women wear vests and the skirts of Ulap Doyo only on formal occasions. For ritual dancing, for ceremonies welcoming distinguished guests and for the farewell dances at the secondary funeral ritual called Kwangkai, the women wear a rich embroidered cotton skirt called Ulap Tumbal. The motifs of these skirts are individually designed. During their nocturnal curing or purification rituals the Pemeliatn or shamans of the Benuaq wear long skirts with colorful ornamental applications. The Doyo Plant: Curculigo Latifolia and the Fiber Curculigo latifolia grows plentifully in primary and secondary forests and additionally, the people propagate it in leaf/seedling containers as shown in the photograph below.

Fig.2 (above) The Doyo plant Curculigo latifolia propagated in a leaf/seedling container


Fig. 3 The blossom

Fig. 4 Fruits with seeds

The austere yellow blossom of Doyo sits at the foot of the plant (Fig. 3). The fruit stands produce plentiful seeds, which is edible. Occasionally, people take some seeds and plant them nearby into the soil.

Fig. 5 (above) Breaking the tube walls containing the fibers with the Siluk Ukir Photo by Herwig Zahorka


Fig. 6 The bamboo tool Siluk Ukir and some natural Doyo fibers. Photo by Herwig Zahorka To remove the fibers from the leaves, the walls of the tubes or cords surrounding the fibers must be broken. This is executed several times by using a bamboo tool called Siluk Ukir as depicted in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6. Then the leaves are put in water in order to wash away the sticky sap. If this is not done thoroughly the sap will adhere the single fibers together. Therefore, the work with the bamboo tool is often performed under water. This bamboo tool is also useful to remove nasty nits from the hair. After the split leaves are dried, the cords are pressed and twisted with the fingers to get the fibers free. Then the raw material is spun into threads, which are wound onto spools. The threads are extremely durable and tear proof like synthetic fibers. Around the world, only the Dayak Benuaq use fibers from Curculigo latifolia for textiles. This is unique. Dyeing and Weaving the Ikat Several decades ago, only natural dyes from plants were used. These plants have their habitat in the area. Today, they are mostly replaced with synthetic dyes from the textile industry, which are often more durable. Fig. 7 shows the list of traditional plants used to produce natural dyes. The traditional colors dominantly used for dyeing the Doyo threads were black, red, yellow and green. The blue dye producing plant Indigofera tinctoria was most probably never planted here. This dye was and is still imported.


Fig. 7 The Benuaq list of dyes producing plants Compiled by Herwig Zahorka

Fig 8 Fruits of Bixa orellana

Fig. 9 The seed produce the red dye Photos by Herwig Zahorka

Figures 8 and 9 show the red dye producing plant Bixa orellana. The red dye is extracted from the seed. Unfortunately, the color often fades easily and is not very durable.


Fig. 10 The traditional Benuaq back strap loom

Figure 10 shows the traditional back strap loom used by the Dayak Benuaq. Only the central band in the worked fabric is a warp ikat weaving, not the bordering bands at the sides. This technique produces two identical sheets of Ulap Doyo. To prepare the warp threads for dyeing, particular frames are used, as shown in Figure 11.

Fig. 11 The frames for the warp threads with the ikat (knots), front and rear

The Ulap Doyo Textiles The highly valued Ulap Doyo cloths are only worn at special events or to represent high social status. Some cloths have already passed down through generations. People of the upper class own the most and the nicest ones.


Fig. 12 The traditional chiefs family from the Lempunah longhouse

Figure 12 shows, from right, the Kepala Adat (traditional longhouse chief and adat judge) from the Lempunah longhouse, with his wife, their only daughter and other female relatives presenting their best Ulap Doyo garments. The traditional loincloth of a chief ends with long dark red fringes hanging down in the front and in the rear.

Fig. 13 Woman with gold plated teeth.

Fig. 14 Kepala Adat Bakot, a longhouse chief


Fig. 15 Distinguished Benuaq aristocrats

Fig. 16 A traditional Benuaq wedding

The woman in Figure 13 wears a vest with two small ikat bands and two necklaces with old Dutch silver coins or replicas. Her front teeth are gold plated. The ear hangings are typical Benuaq style. Figure 14 shows the vest of the longhouse chief, the broad double bands of ikat on both sides are significant as well as the fact that the buttons are made of a valuable trade good mother of pearl. On his head, this Kepala Adat chief wears a traditional dark red square-sized textile with dark blue or black stripes. The Benuaq are a stratified society with leading aristocrats at the top of the social ladder. In Figure 15 is the late Kepala Adat chief, Dangud, with his wife Wasi. He was a Raden. This aristocratic rung is equal to that of a count. His jacket is gold embroidered and the headgear and the loincloth are in the traditional dark red color. He is armed with a ritual inherited mandau (dagger or sword) and a large shield. His wife also wears a gold embroidered jacket, together with a red skirt with four ikat bands. Figure 16 documents one of the duties of the Kepala Adat, or the longhouse chief, which is to marry people in the traditional way. During the ritual, the couple is clad with Ulap Doyo cloths and sit on two big bronze gongs, which are covered with the colorful skirt of the shaman. At the rear of them are two Antaakn (Tempayan, large antic Chinese jars) with the old blowguns and the mandaus attached. All these items are inherited heirlooms which are considered the home of the Tonoi, the familys protective spirits. Two witnesses join the wedding though in fact this was a mock wedding of the author and his wife.


Traditional Ikat Motifs The Ulap Doyo referred to here are produced by the Ohong Benuaq living along the Ohong River (Ohookng in their language) in the longhouse villages Pentat, Lempunah, Muara Nayan and Mancong. The villages of Perigi, Tanjung Jan and Tanjung Isuy also produce Ulap Doyo. All these villages are located in Jempang Subdistrict where they produce more than twenty different ikat motifs. Most of these motifs depict a simplified artistic image of a protective spirit designed to protect the wearer. For an outsider it is difficult to identify which spirit is depicted though some motifs bear their names like Naga (Dragon), Timang (Tiger) or Tangkai.

Fig. 17 (above) Crocodile motif, set for a protective spirit Fig. 18 More than twenty different motifs exist Collection of Herwig Zahorka

Figure 17 depicts a crocodile motif, that is, a Juata water spirit, these spirits always being depicted as either a crocodile or a fish. The water spirits which create the rainbow protect pregnant women as well as the mother and child during delivery though they can also create diarrhea. Figure 18 shows two identical fabrics, the wrap-around skirt being created by separating the fabric at the small sides and sewing them together at the long sides.


Fig. 19 The protective Timang spirit is covered with an Ulap Doyo textile Timang in the collection of Herwig Zahorka, Ulap Doyo being also for the spirits.

The Timang (Tiger) spirit protects the shaman during a nocturnal curing ritual. The spirit is depicted as a wooden dog-like figure. The shaman has carefully covered the spirit with a piece of Ulap Doyo as in Figure 19. Figure 20 is a commercial ikat wall decoration, which shows a mother with two children above two fish. The fish symbolize the Juata water spirits, which are to protect the woman during pregnancy and delivery. Figure 21 shows the jacket of a Kepala Adat chief with many ikat bands depicting snake symbols, which stand for the protective Tonoi village spirits.

Fig. 20 A Ulap Doyo wall decoration Fig. 21 A jacket from a Kepala Adat with many ikat bands Collection Herwig Zahorka


Fig. 22 Commercial ikat for the market

Fig. 23 The ikat cap of a now deceased aristocrat

Many commercial commodities are produced with ikat fabrics of the Benuaq, such as briefcases, hand pockets, purses, wallets and suitcases. Most of them are sold in the souvenir shops in Samarinda. Finally, Figure 23 shows the cap of a late Benuaq aristocrat topped with a feather of the hornbill, which is a charm symbolizing the protective Nyahuq omen bird spirits. A small crown of gold wires indicated the mans aristocratic descent.

The Ulap Tumbal Traditional Costumes Another traditional type of skirt of the Dayak Benuaq women is the Ulap Tumbal made from cotton. It is also a wrap-around skirt. The front is adorned with individually designed embroidery using colorful yarns. The women wear Ulap Tumbal skirts together with ornate jackets for ritual dances, for welcoming distinguished guests and for other festive occasions. On


the same occasions, the chiefs wear jackets with red and white stripes and wide loincloths with different colors.

Fig. 24 Welcome dance with Ulap Tumbal skirts.

Fig. 25 Ngelenay gantar, fending off evil spirits

The ornate jackets and rich embroidered Ulap Tumbal skirts in Figure 24 are compulsory for the performance of a welcome dance for a distinguished guest. Figure 25 shows similar festive garments during the Ngelenay gantar dance. The women carry red dyed fringes from the split leaves of the Licuala palm, which are believed to be able to fend off malevolent spirits.

Fig. 26 (left). Secondary funeral ritual Kwangkai with Ulap Tumbal Fig. 27 (right). Love

dance on the gong

Figure 26 shows the Ngerangkau farewell dance around the remains of the deceased which are hidden behind the fabrics during the secondary funeral ritual called Kwangkai. The women wear Ulap Tumbal skirts and carry fringes in their hands to fend off evil spirits. The fringes are cut from the leaves of the Licuala palm. Sut, the beautiful young woman in Figure 27 performs symbolically the mating dance of the Argus pheasant. She spreads the wonderful feathers with


the Argus eyes, which are fixed on her fingers and head. The big gong represents the mating place and her graceful movements are accompanied with a soft melody played on a small flute.

Fig. 28 and Fig. 29 above. Collection of Herwig Zahorka

Fig. 30. Two fish depicting protective Juata spirits Fig. 31. A tree of life arises from a tempayan. Collection of Herwig Zahorka

Fig. 32 A megalithic anthropomorphic mask Fig. 33 The masks on a Moko around 2000 years old. Collection of Herwig Zahorka

The heart-shaped motif in Figure 32 is an anthropomorphic mask motif. This motif appears on dolmen urn of the megalithic period at Long Pulung, East Kalimantan. Figure 33 shows the same masks on the oldest Moko drum estimated at about 2000 years old now kept on permanent


display in the National Museum in Jakarta. These masks are symbolic images referring to ancestors. The Pemeliatn Skirt and Shamanic Healers The Benuaq adhere to animistic beliefs. Their shamans, called Pemeliatn or Bliatn, execute healing and purification rituals. During these performances, their cloths are long cotton skirts with colorful applications of individual designs. The eye-catching cloths and the rich room decorations during the shamanic rituals have to be colorful and nice to attract and to delight the spirits and make them willing to take back a disease, to protect the people from mishaps or purify the longhouse after epidemics.

Fig. 34 Two Pemeliatn during a nocturnal curing ritual

Fig. 35 Colorful designs for the spirits

Fig. 36 and Fig. 37 Cotton skirts of the shamans with colorful applications. Collection Herwig Zahorka

Indigenous Bark Cloths Before weaving techniques were invented, the peoples cloths were generally made of bark or animal fur. It is the inner bark, the bast or phloem, which is worked in to cloths. Many


species of trees produce useful bast. In Southeast Asia, species of the Artocarpus genus or other species of the Moraceae family are preferred and some indigenous tribes still make and wear bark cloths such as the Lun Daye and Lun Baa Dayak who live in the most remote highlands of northern East Kalimantan, Kerayan Subdistrict, bordering Sabah and Sarawak/ Malaysia.

Fig. 38 Bark vest of Dayak Lun Daye Fig. 39 Bark vest of Punan Menalui, E-Kalimantan Collection Herwig Zahorka

There is no access to this area, neither by river nor by road. Only small airplanes can land there. No fiber producing plants grow there and the climate is too cold and too humid for cotton. Until the end of World War II, only bark cloths were worn and as of today, back strap looms no longer exist there. Consequently, the local people wear imported cotton cloths but one can still find bark cloth on occasion For instance, the bark cloth in Figure 39 is from Punan Menalui, the former forest nomads, now settled at the Lurah River, which is a tributary of the upper Bahau River, a similarly extremely remote area where people also prefer to wear cotton cloth today. Yet even today in some parts of Indonesia such as in the Siberut and Mentawai islands, men continue to clad themselves with bark loincloths, the production of loin cloth being a simple process.

Fig. 40 A Siberut hunter with bow. Fig. 41 Traditional for men (right) clothing


Fig. 42 A long strip of bark is incised and removed Fig. 43 The inner bark is peeled off

Fig. 44 Pounding the bast

Photos by Herwig Zahorka

Fig. 45 Quality control

The bark of the tree is first softened by pounding after which the producer washes it in the river and then when it is dry, it is ready for wear. Every Siberut man has a set of such bark loincloths, which he regularly washes. The loincloth made of the inner bark of an Artocarpus tree keeps the skin healthy because it contains bactericide, fungicide and insecticide agents.

Conclusion Only two Dayak tribes in Borneo produce ikat textiles, namely the Iban in Sarawak and West Kalimantan, and the Benuaq in East Kalimantan. The Dayak Benuaq, settled in Jempang Subdistrict, Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan, have produced ikat fabrics with a back strap loom, beginning in unknown times, using the fibers of the plant Doyo that is Curculigo latifolia Dryander, Amaryllidaceae. These ikat cloths local name is Ulap Doyo. They are worn at formal


ceremonies only. These fabrics are extremely durable like synthetics and the threads are tear proof. More than twenty different motifs are known, many depicting artistically simplified protective spirits. The author botanically identified the plants originally used to extract the dyes, though; nowadays, synthetic cloth dyes are mostly used. The traditional colors used for dyeing the Doyo threads were black, red, yellow and green. The blue dye producing plant Indigofera tinctoria was most probably never planted here. This dye was and is still imported. Today, ikat lengths are also produced for wall decoration and the handicraft industry uses small parts of ikat textiles for briefcases, wallets, suitcases, caps and other commodities. Another traditional type of Dayak Benuaq womens skirts is the Ulap Tumbal made from cotton. The fronts of these wrap-around skirts show colorful individual embroidered designs. Ornate jackets complete the outfits. The traditional garb of a Kepala Adat (longhouse chief and adat judge) for festive rituals is a vest of Ulap Doyo, a Belet (loincloth) with long dark red fringes in front and at rear, topped by dark red headgear. During rituals, wearing the traditional Mandau (dagger, sword) is obligatory. In comparison, the Benuaq shamans dress very differently. During their shamanic purification and curing rituals, they wear a long cotton skirt with colorful appliqud motifs of individual design while their chests remain bare. During the most recent decades, modern cloths have widely replaced the nice traditional fabrics and cloths.


Oral Tradition, the History of Ikat Woven Designs and Traditional Curatorial Practices Novia Sagita Introduction This paper is based on my experience working with the ikat weaving project in Sintang district, West Kalimantan. Funded by Ford Foundation, KOBUS Center and PRCF Indonesia formed a collaboration program to revitalize ancestral Dayak weaving arts. The project goal is to strengthen the revival of the valuable Dayak Ikat Weaving culture by enhancing the present artistic, managerial, and institutional skills needed to reach self sufficiency. The project aims to restore Dayak Ikat arts by further strengthening weaving skills; sharing knowledge about the cultural context and symbolism of ikats; and providing institutional support to secure the viability of contemporary weaving activities.(PRCF-I report). The ikat project has established a weaving cooperative, which has been successful in terms of increasing the number of members. We started with less than 50 members and now have 870 members. All weavers came from villages in the Sintang district area. The cooperative has been successful also in terms of helping the weavers economically. The cooperative buys and sells ikats produced by the weavers and gives them loans. Through their participation in cooperative activities, weavers have a second source of income as well as sustain and preserve the Dayak weaving culture in Sintang area. (JMM) Ikats produced by the cooperative members are regularly sold to tourists and connoisseurs at increasingly higher prices for quality weaves. A strong incentive for women to take up weaving, and for the continuation of the art, is that monies collected from the selling of ikats are used by weavers to supplement household off-farm incomes, and for usually unbudgeted household expenses such as paying for schoolchildrens tuition. Ikats produced by the cooperative members are already being acclaimed by the tourists, collectors, connoisseurs, cultural institutions and government authorities. The cooperative has already been recognized by the district and provincial government as a key facilitator and representative of Dayak cultural art. (report of PRCF-I:2002) Among the cooperatives many efforts to preserve the ikat weaving culture is to offer weavers training opportunities to enhance their skills. It also provides weavers training in


financial management to help them become financially independent. The coop also conducts qualitative research into the traditions of Dayak artistic designs, including symbolism and forms. It also promotes the local weaving culture nationally and internationally through exhibitions and seminars, which are held every year. (PRCF-I:2002) The ikat exhibition and competition is one program that has been developed in an effort to increase the awareness of the local culture heritage preservation within the community. Every year, through the exhibit, the program tries to develop interactive tools to mediate community participation, such as handspun competition, traditional rice wine and children fashion show. Through this exhibition the weavers have proved that they can not only produce amazing textiles, which increase in the quality every year, but also show that the preservation their cultural heritage is being maintained by them.

Research on Oral Tradition and the History of Dayak Ikat Design: Preserving Traditional Knowledge through Cultural Heritage Research is a very important component of the cooperatives work. It is considered urgent research since many worry that knowledge about the ikat tradition will be lost if not recorded. Research also enhances the market value of the textiles. A textile is considered more valuable to buyers if information on its specific motifs and symbols are available. Therefore, research covers ikat motifs and all activities related to the traditional weaving process. This paper is not only about ikat motifs and the production process, but also other essential elements tied to this traditional weaving that are being discovered through research. As the principle researcher for the cooperative, I was responsible for conducting research in Sintang and Upper Kapuas districts in West Kalimantan. The main objectives of this research were; to document and collect motifs and their stories and to record the oral tradition behind ikat weaving according to local culture beliefs. Research focused on Dayak Desa (Sintang) and Dayak Iban and Kantuk (Upper Kapuas). The first research was on Dayak Desa since this group is the majority dayak in Sintang area and most members of weaving cooperative are Dayak Desa. Sintang is known now for ikat weaving and also is the home of woman weaving cooperative with name Koperasi Jasa Menenun Mandiri (JMM) or Weaver Go Independece. My research in Sintang was made easy because there are many ikat weavers living in Sintang, and because Yayasan Kobus has a


collection of ikats produced by Desa that have characteristic patterns and style. All of this collection has already being photographed and documented, and consists of old and new or contemporary ikats Bidang / kebat (skirt) or Kumbu (blanket). Later, carrying a big folder of photographs of ikat from the Yayasan Kobus collection, I started visiting different villages around Sintang. I also made a trip to Ketungau a sub district of Sintang territory, to a make a comparison of motifs from Bungau and Mualang Dayak groups. To collect information on the names of motifs and the particular traditions of a weaver and her family, required a lot of time and sometimes I had to live with the weavers in different villages. In Sintang district at the moment there is only one long house which still exists. In other villages, most of the people already live in individual houses. While I lived with them (weavers) I heard some weavers mention that there are advantages to living in individual houses related to their ikat weaving activities. For one, they dont have to follow the taboos or other rules if they dont live in long house. For example, in the longhouse weavers can not weave at night; they also have to stop their ikat activities for a week when somebody dies or if someone has a problem with their adat (having adat payment). It is requested that all people living in the long house mourn. Most of these concerns are coming from middle aged or young weavers. For old weavers, these conditions do not make much of a difference since they are continuing what they had learned from their ancestors. The weavers in Sintang are mostly reintroduction weavers, which means the weaver is being re-introduced to the tradition of their ancestors. My folder full of ikat photos helped a lot of people remember the names of the motifs and some of the stories behind them. Fortunately, while I was conducting my research there were still old weavers in some villages who were still producing ika. They were able to show me how this tradition is being done in the traditional way as they had learned from their ancestors. This is one of the main differences between old and young weavers. Weavers were excited when I showed them some photos of ikat. The young ones were mostly just able to mention the names and were not sure about motifs in my photos. The old weavers enjoyed the photos but didnt say much, but were curious to know how I got the photos and who made the ikats in the photos. This raised my curiosity and deepened my understanding of the situation - they were acting responsibly by not giving me certain information.


Then I decided to work mostly with the older weavers. I believed this approach could bring me to a deeper understanding of the tradition. One of these old weavers was at that that time already living in an individual house. I was so fortunate when she let me stay with her because she was about finished with the last dying and tying process (ngerapus/Desa) and was starting to weave. I was there when she unfolded the yarn and put it on the loom. Then I could see a beautiful motif, which was not yet woven. I found it that it was a familiar motif in my photo collection, but I wanted her to tell me the motif. She just said ilak anang jak (wait later). It took one week for her to finish her textile in combination her job as a farmer. The day she finished it, she took it off the loom and folded it without doing the fringes. She put a plate and a lamp with a light on it next to the textile and started filling the plate with rice, betel leaves and lime, a piece of cake from sticky rice, and a cigarette. Two of her daughters who were starting to learn to weave also helped her gather these materials. Then I followed her to a small river next to her house where she threw the offerings on the plate into the water and put the lamp so it floated on the water. Next she said to me this was pagelak (offering) because her work was finished. She asked for blessings and healthiness for herself and her whole family. After that she started to do the fringes, and to tell me the names of the motifs. She said it was supposed to be done in that way because it is pamali (taboo) to mention the name of any motif before the weaving is finished because they believe it will harm them and they want to still be able to make other beautiful ikats. The following day she asked me to come with her to visit her sister who was also a weaver. At her sisters house I was surprised when she pulled from her bag a piece of old bidang / kebat with similar a motif as on her new textile. She gave the old textile back to her sister with a plate full of rice, a couple of betel leaves and cigarettes. She said it was to please her sister because she copied and borrowed her sisters old textile which was inherited from their parents. She told me that the ikat (kebat) that she just made was going to be sold to the weaving cooperative and she needed some information or story about the motif to go along with it. She asked her daughter to write down the story while she finished the fringes.Sometime her daughters or other members of the family asked questions regarding the story and this tradition. She said that it is not easy and takes a lot of time to make ikat, not only in regards to materials like threads that need special treatment before they are dyed and tied, and this is very important part of the process that makes the colors and threads last forever. She must also think about the


motifs that she wants to have on ikat. After finishing one ikat she always wants to make another one. During the time I spent with this family I gathered much valuable information for my research about the names of motifs as well as the strong traditions and beliefs the weavers uphold. They are maintaining these traditions and beliefs passed down from their ancestors, and that are still part of their lives today. I learned a lot about how the motifs of traditional textiles not only have symbolic meanings, but also contain magical things of the mystical world. The stories that go with them also offer hope and advice that is useful to living life nowadays. (IDRD:2001). Stories and myths passed down orally through the generations are in daily use and form a background to daily life. My research also focused on Dayak Iban and Kantuk in Upper Kapuas District. In this area, the weavers are not as organized as the weavers in Sintang. Nevertheless, the tradition is still alive in this area. I did find out that the Kantuk, had not produced ikat for over fifty years. Most Kantuk live in the capital of the district, but are a numerical minority. It took time to find Kantuk weavers. After a while I met an old woman (over 80 years old) who was a weaver. It was hard for me to get much information from her because she had speech and hearing problems. But she tried hard to explain how different Kantuk and Iban textiles are in terms of quality, motifs, as well as weavers traditional behavior. She showed me a few her own ikat kumbu in addition to ikats that had belonged to her mother. She was proud of her textiles and allowed me to take pictures of them. She also said that few Kantuk people still keep their textiles, and those that do have inherited them from their parents. I found out later that Kantuks have beautiful ikat that have different motifs in addition to quality in threads and colors. I hardly was able to get the names or stories of the Kantuks motifs because most of the people who own them are not weavers. But what impressed me the most about these textiles is that the people are making sure they are being well kept in their own houses, and according to them, they still use these textiles for Gawai (harvest celebration) or other traditional ceremonies. After spending some time with the Kantuk, I continued my trip to Iban areas where most people are still living in big and huge long houses. The Iban still produce ikat. They mostly sell them in Sawarak (Malaysia) but sometimes keep them for themselves. In this area, I visited many long houses and found many beautiful ikat Iban Kumbu or Kebat, most of which are old and well cared for. I was amazed with Ikat Iban, not only because of the large


size of their kumbu and motifs, but it is also very interesting how they give their textiles long names or titles name their textiles based on the story in them. One my favorite titles for a an old kumbu is gajah meram di palak uwong karak nyangkang di belakang parong(there is a big bad spirit sit and stay still at banyan tree near water fall at the river). There is another one Kandong nibung berayah tangkai ranyai besembah jangah - jangah duduk di pelepah tikai pandan di juluknya antu mali lebu lumpu kubu tuan raja, Bujang Mali Balang nyerang numbang ke benua (Kandong Nibong Pohon a beautiful tree have branches down to the ground, Bujang Mali Balang a half god and half man was born in the tree and sits straight on pandan mat thinking to attack a king and conquer other world). I also found some very short ones such as Remang rarat (the clouds). Iban weavers not only produce kain ikat but also kain Pilih (selam/amat), kain Sidan and Sungkit and these are beautiful textiles, and there are many differences from one to another. The Iban weavers gave me valuable information about this weaving tradition. From them I was also able to gather names of motifs, titles and stories as well as how tradition is maintained in their family. The Iban honored me by trusting me to document their old textiles many of which had unique and powerful motifs. Through them I was introduced not only to the stories behind the textiles but they also showed me how their tradition is being maintained in traditional ways. For instance, they showed me how they fold and keep their textiles in a certain way, especially the Pilih, Sungkit, and Sidan. They fold them in inside out so as to avoid losing the motifs. For Ikat kebat or kumbu they keep them in a plaited basket made from a special kind of leaf material (daun sengang). As I did with the Desa people, I also showed my photo collections to these Iban weavers. I got the same questions from them like which Dayaks made which textiles, and how were these textiles collected that were in the photos. They recognized the differences between their textiles and those of the Kantuk but not others. I enjoyed my time with them, especially when they were having conversations about the photos and trying to compare their own motifs with others. There was a middle aged weaver that said it was unusual for them to see ikat photos, although she also said these photos made it easy for other people to copy all the motifs from the photos. For them, when they want to copy someone elses designs (even those of relatives) they have to make payments in the traditional way. (This is also true for Desa weavers). I think in this context


they were trying to tell me that they are very concerned about respecting traditional rights to cultural property and want to protect it. In Iban long houses I mostly stayed with old weavers because in that way I could get more information and see the different ways of Iban weavers carried out their traditions. I stayed with one weaver (not married) named Inai Beda (Inai mean mother) who was 60 years old who was about to make ikat (she was in the process of preparing the yarn). I decided to stay with her until she wove her textile. I sometimes asked her questions related to my research. At one point I realized that she knew what I wanted see, but based on her answers and what I learned from my experience with the Desa weavers I realized I needed to be careful about asking questions related to the names of the motifs. On my third day there I she showed me textiles that she kept in her cupboard and that were wrapped with kain tapeh (sarong batik). I was surprised not only by her ikat kumbu with many beautiful motifs, but also because she had many amazing Sungkit, Sidan, Pilih (same size like kumbu). Then I asked if I could take photos. She said ilak, dek belikan aku beras dan rokok (please wait, buy me rice and cigarettes). She proudly explained all the stories behind the motifs. She continued to work on her textile and she showed me in detail how to make ikat according to tradition and what she had learned from her ancestors. During the whole process, I noticed that she tried to not touch the thread with her hands, but rather, she used tacok / Iban (coconut skull). She said she avoided touching the thread so it would not become dirty and this was a good way to maintain the threads so they would last a long time. After that she suggested that I meet two others weavers which were her relatives, such as Inai Bunga, an unmarried weaver that was 80 years old and living in the same long house with Inai Beda. When I entered Inai Bungas house, I was impressed with her gong collection that she had on her wall. The gongs were tied together with rattan. These gongs had different shapes, material and patterns. They were so beautiful. I think Inai Beda already informed Inai Bunga about my purpose in visiting her. She directly showed me a few of her textiles and most were kebat. While I was taking pictures of her textiles she said that she still has a few kumbu and she would let me see and take photos if I was able to provide her a chicken, a plate full with rice and cigarettes. I provided these things and then she took me to a room that was full of big tempayan (Jars) where she kept her kumbu wrapped in old kain tapeh.Then I saw her old kumbu with old motives. A few of them were made by her and others were from her mother.


While I was busy taking pictures, I asked why she asked me to provide her a chicken and the other things. She said that she never takes the textiles from the jars, only on very special occasions or for ritual ceremonies such as asking for rain when she puts the textile on her roof, and asks for blessings and when to start planting the rice or at the gawai (harvest celebration). It is meant for special purposes. I saw her slaughter the chicken and spread the blood from the chicken around. It was meant for the bad spirit on the ground. Another relative of Inai Beda was Inai Bajik (70 years old) who was also living in the same long house. With Inai Bajik I had quite an interesting experience. It took a few visits to get the information I wanted from her and I had been informed by Inai Beda that she has many old weavings too. My visits to her house gave me a different perspective on the tradition. One day she showed me her textiles but she did not let me to take pictures or even get information about these textiles. But what was more valuable was the history she gave me about the tradition since she remembered it well by heart. Sometime she just picked one of her kumbu and covered her head and started Bekana (a form of poetry full with story with special rhythm) and she said that in old times they used kumbu just like that when many women were waiting in ruai (hall) in the long house for the men to come back from war or ngayau (headhunting). If they brought heads then these women would welcome them with their heads covered with kumbu. The next day I came back again to her house and suddenly she asked me to give her money (about 5.000 rupiah ($ 50 cent) and then she would let me take pictures of her textiles. I was confused about this because I believed she knew that I would be able to provide things like Inai Bunga had asked me for she said it was just for syarat (condition in traditional way) to please her or other people who own textiles and there is no certain amount or materials for this. It all depends on what individuals decide and want. Then I continued my work and started to ask her information about her textiles. She asked me why I wanted to know the names of the motifs. Without waiting to hear my explanation she said when she learned to make ikat with her mother or her grandmother she never asked the name of the motif. In this tradition it takes time for most weavers to learn about the motifs they are using. This is the way it has been for a long time and how they continue the tradition. This is also a way of showing respect to their ancestors and to the good and bad spirits around them. She also wondered why it is such a problem for some people to find out about the names and stories behind their ikat. For her and many other weavers she believed it might be because some of their textiles have histories related to their


family which are taboo (forbidden) for them to bring up. If they bring up the story they must pay adat (traditional fine). For instance, she picked up one of her kumbu with very old motif (Bujang Mali Balang / Iban). She believed that this textile killed her parents after her mother finished this kumbu. She promised to herself never to produce or copy this motif.

Museum Community Program Besides being the principal researcher for oral tradition and history on ikat weaving design, I was also the coordinator of the museum community program for the ikat project in Sintang. The purpose of this program was to establish a depository (or a museum) for Dayak art and culture, and especially for the best traditional ikat weavings in the Sintang area. Another purpose was to house collections consisting of textiles and cultural artifacts from Yayasan Kobus, which were being donated to the community in Sintang. Through this program, I had the opportunity to undertake training in museum studies program and anthropology Denver University (DU) which was organized by Christina Kreps and funded by Ford Foundation and Asian Cultural Council. When I conducted the feasibility study on a museum community program I had visited 10 villages in Sintang area. These was the area from which most of the weavers come from. The purpose of this study was to measure the people's interest in the project and to obtain information on how this program was perceived by the community. There is a high level of interest in the community for our Ikat weaving project and the cooperative (see Ikat project in introduction). There are many weavers who are actively producing ikat weavings (home production) in 16 different villages. This tells us that cultural preservation has been going on in every house in different villages. These cultural activities can provide communities with a source of income while also helping keep the tradition alive (Kreps 2002). Based on this information I believe that this program can work in the community. It took me almost 2 months of staying in villages to accomplish my study. While I conducted my work, I tried to discuss the museum project, but realized I could not use the "museum" with the people. Instead, I used the term "rumah pusaka" or "house of heritage or heirloom" which was more understandable by the community. (Kreps 1997). I have spent a great deal of time living with local people in villages carrying out my tasks and responsibilities in facilitating and coordinating this program with the community. The


museum community itself doest not exist within a building. In the first program, the community was the starting point from which we implemented the program components, such as museum education and awareness, seminars and exhibitions (such as ikat weaving contest) with communities in villages, sub districts and capital of districts. While I was conducting this program, I was able made to make a few visits to museums in Indonesia together with community representatives to orient them toward the program. I was more concerned with exploring and finding out about knowledge regarding cultural preservation that already existed in every village. While I was doing the research and working for the Dayak weavers of Ikat textiles I met a few weavers who showed me how they are keeping their material culture safe in different traditional ways. I came to realize that these weavers already are keepers (curators) in a way which has been passed down from their ancestors. This is proof that our community does have knowledge about preserving our heritage. While I stayed in villages doing my research, I would often see old or middle aged weavers (most of whom could not read or write) ask their grandchildren or children to write down the names of motifs and stories to accompany their textile so as to increase their market potential. This often led to extended family discussions about their traditions and naturally stories about ikat. I think this is a beautiful way to pass down their own tradition, passing culture from oral to written accounts. It starts from within each house and as such is the continuation of indigenous tradition. It is like museum rumah tangga, a household museum. In this way, the Kantuk and Iban revealed to me not only a great deal of information about many motifs, stories and traditions behind their textiles, but also allowed me to learn and see how this traditional ikat weaving is being produced and how this tradition engages them. It has taught me to be more careful and respectful to this culture. Every time I enter a weavers house in the villages, I feel like I am entering a museum!

Conclusion The new museology movement has been fundamentally concerned with the democratization and museum practices it is stressed the importance of community members, not just as visitors but also participants in all aspects museum work. New museology strives to bridge the gap between professional and nonprofessionals by working with local people, drawing on the peoples knowledge, experiences and resources (Davis 1999, Vergo 1980, Witcomb 2003). In Kreps Curatorship as Social Practice


After doing my research work on Dayak Ikat, visiting different museums in different places, and through my work with the community museum program, I have come to realize that the current style of top down museum management practice are not ideal for our community. As a result of this approach in the past, the community does not have a sense of belonging or like it is being integrated into it. On the other hand, it is common knowledge that our museum institutions are only symbolic. Not only do our museums lack human resources, but our national community does not understand what is the role and function of a museum. The work now for our museums in Indonesia is to learn how to have an ideal museum as an institution that integrates the community, since it is the community itself who owns the culture and all of the resources. I believe that there are lots of forms and source of preservation knowledge in communities that need to be explored in respectful and responsible ways. I agree with Kreps that communities have the rights to deal and manage their own cultural heritage (Kreps 2003). As a result of my work with the weavers in villages, museum visits and museum training, I have learned that interpreting, learning about and observing objects as well as placing an aesthetic value on them and placing them in exhibits in a particular building is not part of our culture. But I understand also that just because museums are not part of the culture in our community this does not mean that museums cannot exist in our country. We do have very rich cultural materials which need to preserved, and cared for since they are evidence of our history and culture.


Concluding Remarks Dr. Suwati Kartiwa While the speakers over the past two days have spoken about textiles from many different regions of Indonesia, and in fact, Southeast Asia, several similar threads have emerged. Perhaps most important we learn that there is a continuing interest in traditional textiles in Indonesia today not only amongst academics and specialists in the field but amongst ordinary Indonesians of all walks of life. Many speakers have emphasized the fact that conferences and symposiums such as this are important particularly in terms of providing a context for communicating with others working in the field of textile research. In this conference we learnt something of the progress being made in creating new designs and re-creating traditional designs. For instance in Irwan Tirtas opening discussion, he

observed how if one does not understand the history behind the motifs and techniques and the meaning of the designs, one would loose these all important connections when re-creating traditional designs. In essence then, the past is important. In the dynamic context of

contemporary Indonesian textile production, we see a constant proliferation of new designs, the creative use new colors and new techniques. The weavers, batik makers and others are in all this involved in a truly living art. There is certainly ample opportunity for documenting this lively world of experimentation and production of new forms and the re-production of older forms. We have also learnt of how textiles are affected by globalization and by global trends whether it be in the evolution of commercial motifs in Sumba, the greening of dying and dye stuffs or the renewed emphasis on trade and export. Most significantly, the contributors have shown that globalization dos not necessarily result in the degeneration of textiles, but to the contrary can powerfully stimulate the nature and quality of production. Indeed, considering the diverse types of traditional techniques including batik, ikat, weaving and embroidery, and the expansive array of motifs amidst the sheer breadth and depth of the textile tradition in Indonesia is overwhelming. How much there is to learn and to preserve! This symposium also provided us with instances of particular success stories such as in the case of the co-operative in Sintang and the Batik Village in Giriloyo. Those examples will provide inspiration for how we might expand these successes to other areas. In addition, through the observations made about how batik is being adapted and worn today in a variety of modern


and trendy ways we even see how we the designs on cloth on the ancient statues in the museums courtyard continue to exist today. Let us see how we can bring them even more vigorously back to life for today and tomorrows youth. In conclusion, in all this we see the threads of diverse traditions continually intertwined, ancient designs on modern scarves, newly commercialized motifs on traditional ikat, Ottoman designs of old surviving in gold embroidery in todays Sumatran ceremonies. We hope that through the publication of the papers presented at this symposium that stimulate future research and work which will in a multitude of ways be woven into future research and above all into the future creative production of Indonesian textiles.