Brian Stephenson Fine Art

Indonesian Tribal Art
Timor Atoni Selimut Katak

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West Timor Atoni warp ikat blanket or manís wrap (Selimut Katak)


Item-Description:West Timor Atoni warp ikat blanket or manís wrap (Selimut Katak)
Medium:Central panel of hand spun cotton, natural dyes
Origin:Lesser Sunda Islands - Atoni
Dimensions:180 x 96 cm
Age:Mid 20th century
Provenance:Acquired Denpasar, Bali 1983
Condition:Excellent, no holes or tears but minor staining from use
Notes:This is a very classic 3 panel West Timor Atoni warp ikat manís wrap, most probably from the Amanuban Regency, with wide red, pink and orange striped side panels stitched to a prominent ikated centre panel stacked with anthropomorphic or humanoid figures shaped to make them look froglike. Locally called the frog motif (katak), figures in this shape represent the life cycle of generations. Note, both the hands and feet of the figures are also very web like.

Interestingly the main large frog like pitted figures in ecru show large multi pronged penis sheaths and also carry red coloured subsidiary human like figures in their stomach areas suggesting fertility, birth and the renewal of generations. The frog figures also display a curved headdress with a pronounced inward curl which "recalls the pilu saluf headdress of a meo warriorĒ (Peter ten Hoopen, 2017, The Pusaka Collection, Online Museum of Indonesian Ikat Textiles).

As is common, this cloth also carries natural dyes in the ikated central panel and then pre-dyed commercial yarn in the side panels. However, the designs, particularly in the centre panel, are very sharp indicating that the cloth was woven by a person of immense skill.

Price: £950