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1849 Antique Iban Ceremonial Ikat - Fruiting Palm

Antique Iban Ceremonial Ikat Pua Kumbu

Among the Iban, textiles are treasured as they are more than just objects made of fibre.

In some cultures, such as the Iban, textiles have played a major, if not central role, in all the ceremonies surrounding the important events in life. Power structures among women are based on dyeing and weaving skills. Perhaps the most important materials owned by families were textiles.

Ikat textiles are among the hardest to make, as the tie-dye is done on the unwoven threads before they are woven into cloth. So with a design in the weaver's imagination, the thread is dyed in sections as per the pattern that is required to be created. This takes immense precision and calculation. So when we note that these textiles were made decades ago in the rainforests of Borneo & Sarawak, there is a sense of awe for the creators.

Size: 196 x 104 cm


 This might be the Palm Pattern as seen in Fig 81 Page 162 / Traude Gavin

This pattern requires planning of the dyed threads along the diagonal axis. This requires a visualisation of how the adjacent thread will have a specific color at a point just a little higher than the previous one - and so on. So executing this pattern requires great skill.

In this composition we see that the oblique lines are parallel parallel to each other. Managing equal distances along the length of the parallel lines adds to the complexity of the planning at the time of tie-ing the threads prior to dyeing.

Note the little ornaments woven in ikat in the side border or Ara

Has a spectacular presence and will make a great textile artwork on a wall.




This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user. Signs of this life lived heartily may be present on the piece in the form of stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections. Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect. More photos of such imperfections will be provided on request.


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