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Kain Patola Ratu, Sumba

Item: Kain Patola Ratu

Size: 52 x 88 in (132 x 223 cm), 600 g

Provenance: Rende, Sumba, Indonesia; mid 20th Century

Method: Commercial cotton, hand woven, vegetable dyes, warp ikat. The dyes are the indigo plant for blue-black and morinda citrifolia for red. The dyeing itself takes between 6 to 12 months before the weaving begins. The textile is constructed from 2 long identical panels hand-stitched together along the warp to form a double width.


Woman's warp ikat wrap or selimut, similar to a man's hinggi. This warp ikat East Sumbanese woman's cloth is called patola ratu, indicating the influence of the patola saris from Gujurat, India that were traded in Indonesia. Patola patterns were the inspiration for many of what evolved into the traditional motifs found on tribal textiles throughout Indonesia. 


Sumba textiles were traded between the coastal regions where they were made and the interior, where the making of textiles was proscribed, and many of them were made for the nobility who at one time had the sole right to wear decorated textiles. As prestige clothing and gifts, textiles were used and given in large quantities on ceremonial and ritual occasions, and marked the prosperity of the ruling class and thus of the society as a whole. This cloth is of a type used by a woman of high status. The patola ratu pattern appears in the central band of many hinggi and is also found on the ikat-decorated sarong made in East Sumba, lau patola ratu.


The textile is in excellent condition, no rips or tears.

Item Code: txtl0403 - SOLD!