Skip to content


An image of Hinggi (man's shawl) with crayfish and 'coat of arms' design by

East Sumba, Indonesia

Hinggi (man's shawl) with crayfish and 'coat of arms' design
Place of origin
East SumbaIndonesia
circa 1970
Media category
Materials used
Ikat, cotton and natural dyes; warp ikat with supplementary weft patterning and braided ends

114.2 x 274.0 cm

Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2003
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

As in many parts of Indonesia, in Sumba textiles represent one of the most significant art forms. People wove them to fulfil ritual, ceremonial, and everyday functions. One of the most distinctive Sumbanese cloths is the hinggi (man's shawl), a very large cloth decorated with bold designs in a warp ikat. Usually a pair is made; one is worn as a sarong, while the other is folded over the shoulder as a long scarf or used as a shawl. This example is decorated with various motifs including a crayfish-like animal, trees, floral patterns, and a 'coat of arms' design, which reveals the influence of the Dutch. The ends display a separately woven geometric band and fringes.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

Bibliography (4)

Mattiebelle Gittinger, Splendid symbols: textiles and tradition in Indonesia, Singapore, 1990.

Robyn Maxwell, Textiles of Southeast Asia : tradition, trade and transformation, Canberra, 1990.

Jes A. Therik, Tenun ikat dari Timur: keindahan anggun warisan leluhur = Ikat in eastern archipelago: an esoteric beauty of ancestral entity, Jogjakarta, 1989.

Wanda Warming and Michael Gaworski, The world of Indonesian textiles, Japan, 1981.

Exhibition history (1)

Symbols and Ceremonies: Indonesian Textile Traditions, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 2006–28 May 2006