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Shoulder Cloth (2006)
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Dorce
  • Batuisi village, West Sulawesi
  • Warp ikat
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 23 x 212 cm. (9 x 83.5 in)
  • Code # T.SW.BI.090

Yusnani ties an ikat design
To the west of Rantepao, Sulawesi, lie the rugged, trackless mountains of Karataun. In the mythic past, the people of Karataun wove the very first sacred cloth, which they called ba`ba de`ata, the ikat of God. Today, Batuisi villagers continue the sacred weaving tradition handed down to them by their grandmothers. The Karataun plant their cotton only on nights with bright stars; they say the brightness will filter down from the heavens and into their crop.

According to Dorce, Batuisi village once forged a marriage alliance with Tonoling, a town in the mountains farther to the north. The motif on this slender cloth is called tonoling, and records the ancient partnership.