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Ikat selendang, Alor

Item: Selendang, warp ikat, cotton, vegetable dyes, bird design, Alor

Size: 19 x 58 in (50 x 147 cm), about 235 g

Provenance: Alor, Indonesia; 1970s.

Method: Hand woven warp ikat, cotton, vegetable dyes.


A simple, appealing handspun cotton shoulder cloth selendang from the island of Alor to the north of Timor in the Indonesian archipelago, woven with three rows of birds in white, dark blue and red-brown ikat on a black ground separated by re-brown and ikat bands. The fish, turtle and manta ray are also popular motifs.


The district of Alor lies east of Flores and consists of several small islands such as Alor, Pantar, Ternate, Buaya, Uma Pura, and others. Though its people are ethnically and culturally distinct from the islands to the west, Solor, Lembata and Adonara, they share some common textile features. All originally used handspun cotton, natural dyes of red-brown and indigo blue. On Alor ikat is used mainly as clothing, decoration, and it also serves in the system of gift exchanges. In marriage arrangements specific cloths can be asked as part of the belis or dowry, besides the inevitable moko or bronze drum. In some cases they are used as denda or pay off. To make up for an insult or bad behavior one family can ask for a cloth as a means of compensation. After the acceptance of this both parties will consider the problem dealt with.


The textile is in excellent condition.

Item code txtl0850 – SOLD!