HinggiMan’s Ceremonial Hip Cloth
Designed for a king, this regal cloth is of an ostentatious length. This hinggi features a combination of motifs from three different powers: India, Holland and its own migration story. The head and foot of the cloth contain bands of patterns that are very reminiscent of Gujurati patola cloths often referred to as tumpul. The patterns have been integrated into the culture and are known as duck beaks (ngandu rendi) and pumpkin seeds (waka robo).
The small rampant lion (mahang) motifs are highly reminiscent of Dutch heraldry found on coins, medals and banners. These items were given to Sumbanese rulers as objects of prestige and became symbols of royal authority.
Despite all of these prestigious symbols, the most revered is the highly regarded seashell or karihu which appears on the centrefield of the cloth. This sacred traditional motif represents the bounty and beauty of the sea as seen by the ancestor searching for land (Sumba) for its descendants. The karihu shell pattern was worn only by members of the Umululu royal families in the past.
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.
314 x 118 cm / 123.5 x 46.5 in