Shoulder or waist cloth for a man’s hinggi kombu - ROM2009_11159_1


Shoulder or waist cloth for a man’s hinggi kombu

Medium:Warp-ikat cotton tabby
Geography: East Sumba, Indonesia
Date: 1900
249 x 115 cm
Object number: 958.190.3
Not on view

This man's ceremonial shoulder or waist cloth is made of cotton tabby with warp-ikat patterning and painting. Two widths are joined by a centre seam. Striped heading bands at ends are separately woven using warp fringe as weft.

The hinggi is made from two identical panels that are dyed to create the design in mirror image, both vertically and horizontally. Only women of the noble class were allowed to make this cloth style, and they alone knew the secrets for making red dye (kombu). It contains images influenced by several sources: local deer (associated with the hunting parties of local nobility), rampant lions inspired by European iconography (probably by Dutch heraldry), and a schematic floral ground influenced by woven Indian textiles from Gujarat (double ikat patola cloths). There is also a central band of symmetrical leaf sprays and serpents.

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