Ceremonial hanging, possibly modeled on a shroud (paporitonoling)
Karataon Toraja people, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Handspun cotton, natural dyes
Purchased at Threads of Life, Ubud, Bali
Anne and John Summerfield Textile Study Collection
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, College of the Holy Cross
Several years ago Threads of Life staff began to work with ikat dyers and weavers in Karataon Toraja communities in highland Sulawesi, providing funds to foster a return to natural dyes and older motif repertoires. Weavers in these largely inaccessible mountain villages are among Indonesia’s greatest experts, as shown by the excellent weaving here, the great dye work, and the vibrancy of the bold red and black motifs. Karataon Toraja ikats of this type have some similarities to the overall design of Iban and Dayak weavings from Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo (that is, from Sarawak and Kalimantan). This cloth was woven for the export market, in collaboration with the NGO Threads of Life.
This newly woven ikat has many similarities to the historical Karataon Toraja ikat shown earlier in the exhibition (the very long ikat to the left as one enters the gallery).