Morilotong is the name for the black and white architectural ceremonial hanging used by the To Mangki Karataun ethnic group of central Sulawesi. The threads are soaked in a tannin from a Homolanthus sp tree, dyed in iron rich mud and then washed repeatedly in the river to achieve the distinct and clear white. This cloth predates the Sekomandi textile which uses red and blue dyes.
The black and white Morilotong textile symbolizes duality or heaven and earth. Humans live between these worlds. The primary motif on this textile is called tosso’ balekoan, which represents a niddy noddy used for making skeins of yarn after being spun from cotton fibers into thread. From here the skeins can be wound into a ball of yarn ready to be used to warp a loom. Using this as a motif suggests the importance of this transformation of spun thread to textiles.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Warp ikat, two panels stitched together, open fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed in Mamuju, Sulawesi, 2019.
200 x 127 cm / 78.5 x 50 in