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Architectural Hanging

Morilotong is the name for the black and white architectural ceremonial hanging used by the ethnic group To Mangki in Western Sulawesi. The striking black and white textile uses mud dyes and leaves from Homolanthus sp. for the tannin source. After dyeing the textile is washed repeatedly in the river to achieve the distinct and clear white motifs on the cloth. This cloth predates the sekomandi textiles that use red and blue colour.

The morilotong is described as symbolising the duality of heaven and earth. Humans live between these worlds. The motif ulu karua refers to the eight traditional leaders who have specific roles and responsibilities for the well-being of their community. According to legend, an ancestor was meditating in a cave when he saw an old tattered cloth that contained these motifs and brought them back to be woven.

Warp ikat, two panels stitched together with open fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes.
Made in Karutaun, Sulawesi, 2019.
216 x 132 cm / 85 x 52 in


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