Archives for posts with tag: borneo

The technique of ikat dyeing starts before the actual weaving begins.  Certain yarn on the warp is wrapped up with thread or string.  When the dye applied to the warp, the wrapped up part form a resist to the dye.  Threads are then removed, leaving an area of undyed yarn.  It is then ready to be woven into cloth.  Because of the unevenness of the warp wrapping, the woven result has a characteristic ikat effect.

Ikat weaving is particularly laborious as the pattern is often pictorial, the warp has to be loaded on the weaving loom before carefully tying up the pattern.  After dying the warp has to be loaded but on the loom at the same location before weaving.

Indonesia ikat are a precious and sacred fabric use in ceremony.

Samples of ikats are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in our Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

W70xD60xH270mm, Borneo, Indonesia

This is a hampatong from Borneo, the Dayak tribes create these wooden figurines portraying humans, animals and supernatural creatures.  The hampatongs can be broadly divided into two types; the tajahan (ancestral figures) and pataho (guardian figures for protecting the tribe).  This particular figurine is a tajahan.  Each figures are have their own function and meaning, for the tajahan figures the craftman would capture the details of the particular ancestor.  The animal on which the ancestor is sitting on is most likely to be a goat is believed to be sacred.  This is a protective amulet of a male ancestor sitting on a chair. the bread are made from coconut husk.

W90xL260xH120mm, Borneo, Indonesia

This is a buffalo horn rice spoon decorated with a bird as a handle.  This combination reminded me of legend.  A long long time ago like all animals the water buffalo has both the upper and lower teeth in his jaw.  One day, minding his own business munching the grass as he does all day long, hidden in the grass there is a tiny bird with a beautiful tail.  Not seeing the bird, the buffalo accidentally stepped on the tail of the bird, the bird squeaked and while the buffalo bend down to ask what has happened, the bird’s wing knocked out all the teeth out of his upper jaw.  Both upset with each other, they cast evil spell on each other, the bird for all the buffalo never to have upper teeth and the buffalo for the bird to have the tail fell off.  The bird is the pimpikau of Borneo which has no tail and a lack of feathers at the butt and of course now the water buffalo no longer has any upper teeth.
Is this true that water buffalo really have no upper teeth?  Someone please confirm this?

W400xL1450mm, Borneo Malaysia

Ikat involves a dyeing process which define the pattern in the yarn before the cloth is weaved.  Warp yarn are stretched on a tieing frame, bindings (dye resist) are tied onto the threads to create the desired pattern.  To achieve multiple colours, certain bindings will be remove before submerging into a different colour dye.  The tied yarn are then removed from the frame to be dyed.  The treated yarn are then carefully weaved.  This ikat is from the Iban tribe in Sarawak, Borneo, East Malaysia.  The Iban tribe are known to the world as the head hunters, the skill of which Iban men are judged by.  For the women, it is the skill of making ikat pua.  The pua are used in ceremonies; hung to mark out the ritual area, a birth of a child, marriage, funeral, healing, as well as to carry the head back after a hunting trip …