Image: Indonesian textile E81229C

Indonesian textile E81229C

Detail of hinggi, a hand-woven ikat blanket from Sumba. It is made with natural dyes and possibly hand-spun thread. The design includes traditional Sumbanese religious elements and motifs influenced by Dutch colonial culture.

The andung or skull tree motif (in the picture), is typical for the head-hunting culture of the region, and symbolizes power and fertility, while the Sumbanese hornbill motif (directly above the trees) indicates spiritual guidance.Size: 110 x 51.5cm.



Hinggi – a man’s mantle or shawl. A traditional dress of men in Sumba worn wrapped around the body as part of a pair, one worn across the shoulder and the other tied around the waist.

Ikat – the word, borrowed from the Indonesian language, it describes the method of weaving that uses dyed threads to produce coloured patterns, as well as the type of fabric made in this process.


Luisa Garfoot
© Australian Museum

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