Man's Ceremonial Skirt
Hinggi are designed to function in both present and future. They are worn in identical pairs during a man’s lifetime, folded over the shoulder and wrapped about the hips. Individual design elements perform practical functions, the qualities associated with each motif augmenting the wearer’s personal power during life and aiding his journey to the next world after death. Motifs are usually arranged in three to five bands of varying width. The design traditionally announced a man’s station.
The entire body of this textile pulses with blue and white cockatoo patterns. The cockatoo suggests the importance of community and cooperation between kin. The cockatoo glancing over its shoulder is a reminder that the ancestor/family is always there when needed.
To achieve the light-blue designs, the threads were re-tied after the first series of indigo immersions — a mark of a true master ikat tier. The textile was then repeatedly dyed in indigo to a deep blue-black before it was warped on a loom and woven.
Warp ikat, two panels stitched together, kabakil edging with twinned warp fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes.
Made in Prai Yawang, East Sumba, 1994.
300 x 116 cm / 118 x 46 in