Man's Ceremonial Hip Cloth
The size of this textile makes it most unusual along with its stylized motifs and large white centre field with supplementary floating warp patterning The motif name in Sumbanese, kurrangu luku, refers to a crayfish or lobsters. The crayfish symbolizes the importance of people working together just as the crayfish swim together in a line. It is a metaphor for a king who leads but always must set a good example for those who follow him.
A millipede or lambaru motif lays between the heads of the crayfish. A millipede is able to curl up when disturbed displaying an ability to turn inward and protect itself. It also has a poisonous bite that is painful. Many plants and animals with this kind of poisonous quality are used to decorate due to their potency.
Warp ikat with supplementary warp patterning, two panels stiched together, kabakil striped band, twined fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Made in Prai Liu, East Sumba, c.1990.
322 x 139 cm / 127 x 55 in
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