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Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the  ...
Flores sémba men’s shouldercloth

Indonesia, Flores, Ende; 1920 – 1940

Technique: Handspun cotton, natural dyes, warp ikat

This is an unusual and rare large textile made up of two long panels joined together along the selvedge. Stretching across the width of the textile in bands is a repeating motif of a stylized rosette, interspaced by budding sprigs and scrolling tendrils. Against an overdyed brown-black ground, the motifs are eggshell and rust-red, often contrasting these colours within a single element. This piece is distinctive for the generous spacing between elements, unlike the more typical tightly locked grid of motifs; the discreteness of the elements and their soft, wavy shapes create an attractive effect of a moving image. At each end is an unusual row of chickens, amongst which the usually dominant triangular tumpal (bamboo shoot) appears as a secondary component. The textile is finished with exceptionally long (24 cm) grouped but untwisted fringes that show a lovely gradation of colour from the over-dyed (with indigo) brown to the natural morinda red.

Context: Two-panel sémba were the finest of men’s textiles made in Ende. Most featured a patola-derived 8-pointed star / flower motif, but were unusual in dispensing with the framing side panels of the patola format. Museum holdings show that Ende sémba from the 1920s to 1930s were influenced by Sumba design, and incorporated zoomorphic and other motifs emulated from Sumba textiles, such as the chicken in this piece. The adoption of Sumba motifs during this period was most likely prompted by the Sumba cloth trade to Europe, in which Ende men participated. The making of two-panel sémba ceased with World War ii and never resumed. (Roy Hamilton, Gift of the Cotton Maiden, 132-33). For a similar example see the Pusaka Collection #199 http://www.ikat.us/ikat_199_hires.php

Condition: The textile is overall in very good condition. There is one discontinuous slit in the cloth (2.3 cm plus 1 cm). The colours are fresh and warm, the handspun cotton is tightly woven, medium weight, with a stiff, springy handle – the textile appears hardly used – and grainy texture. It has been folded over and lightly tacked at one end to create a pocket 11 cm wide for a hanging rod.

Dimensions: w 134 cm x l 186 cm + 24 cm fringes at one end, as currently hemmed; 245 cm long including fringes at both ends if unhemmed.











price:  On request