HinggiMan’s Ceremonial Hip Cloth
Designed for a king, this regal cloth is of an ostentatious length. Traditionally, the royals of Umululu were identified by their black clothing. The deep indigo-blue overdyed with morinda-red to achieve a black color, such as on the stripes that appear on this textile, is achieved only by master dyers.
The prominent motif on this cloth is the chicken manu which is so essential to ritual life in Sumba. The space around the chickens is filled with sea horses and green vipers as these animals are seen as being unusual and powerful and imbue the wearer of the cloth with their essence. The red stripe on the bottom is of the mahang or lion motif that is standing on either side of a tree of life. These lions are reminiscent of the Dutch heraldry found on coins and materials denoting status.
This stunning textile could be hung on a wall or used as a carpet as the dark patterning allows for other design in a room to also have a voice.
Warp ikat, two panels sewn together, commercial cotton, natural dyes, kabakil striped edging and twisted fringe. Made by Tamu Rambu Hamu Eti in Rindi, East Sumba, 2019.
358 x 128 cm / 141 x 50.5 in