Supplementary patterns such as these are heirlooms handed down from grandmother to her granddaughter when she marries so that the traditional patterns will continue. This pattern is called patola ratu refers to the long silk or cotton Indian trade cloths known as patola that was used as currency during the spice trade.
This cloth would traditionally worn over the shoulder by a woman or tied around the head by men as a traditional headdress. A headdress would have the fringe pointing upward while the hip cloth would be worn with the fringe downward – an acknowledgement of the realm of the ancestors and the spirits of the earth and living between these worlds.
The images included are examples of this supplementary technique called pahikung that weavers in Sumba like this young woman are weaving.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Floating warp patterning, single panel, twisted fringe, commercial cotton and natural dyes. Dyed and woven in East Sumba, 2003. Size 164 x 30 cm / 64.5 x 12 in