Morilotong is the name for the black and white architectural ceremonial hanging used by the To Mangki Karataun ethnic group of central Sulawesi. The threads are soaked in a tannin from a Homolanthus sp tree, dyed in iron rich mud and then washed repeatedly in the river to achieve the distinct and clear white. This cloth predates the sekomandi textile which uses red and blue dyes.
A cloth like this black and white ikat, mud dyed textile from Sulawesi will take up to 4 months to complete with a single woman overseeing all aspects of the work, tying motifs onto threads from memory, dying the threads and weaving. All while she continues to take care of her family and work in the fields to bring home food. The sale of these textiles represents a significant source of income for these weavers.
The Morilotong textile symbolizes duality or heaven and earth. Humans live between these worlds. The primary ikat motif is called ulu karua which refers to the eight traditional leaders each having specific roles in the community such as ritual, land administration, agricultural cycles and social relationships.
This textile is lovely on as a wall hanging or used as throw on the bed or over a couch.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Warp ikat, two panels stitched together, open fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed and woven in Mamuju, Sulawesi, 2019. Size 182 x 104 cm / 71.5 x 41 in