Man’s shoulder or hip cloth (hinggi)

Sumba Island artist

Not on view

This finely executed hinggi is in wonderful condition and retains its strong and rich color in bold graphic design elements that flow across the textile in broad bands that are organized symmetrically around a single band at the centre of the textile. Broad and wide the designs are evenly balanced with two sets of narrow bands that create three principle sections, fringed by a multi-colored fringe at each end. Dynamic design elements include potent pohon andung iconography that relate to the large-scale skull trees (andang) positioned at the entrance to villages which were fed with skull from headhunting raids and were a signal of the spiritual sustenance and vitality of the community. Their inclusion in these textiles indicates the significance and ritual status of these ceremonial textiles. This singular iconography is interspersed with neat, smaller scale motifs that include flat fish, roosters and the omega motif that relates to mamuli and the female principle, balancing the male domain referenced in the symbolism relating to headhunting.

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