This warp 'ikat' decorated cloth originated from the tiny island of Savu whose people are tenaciously proud of their tradition. These people have a fairly conservative, complex and hierarchical social structure, divided into clans aligned to one of two female groups that control life-crisis rituals. These two groups are known as the 'Greater and Lesser Blossoms'. This textile is worn by men as waist or hip wrappers, wrapped around the chest or draped over the shoulder. The cloth conforms to a banded design, however, it is decorated according to a most traditional design known as 'boda' and 'kekamahaba' (Savu flower and zig-zag). It is worn by someone belonging to the 'Greater Blossom' clan and such a design is regarded as the exclusive property of this clan.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2000
cotton, natural dyes; warp 'ikat'
81.5 x 174.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
Not on display
© Copyright reserved
Referenced in 2 publications
Sylvia Fraser-Lu, Handwoven textiles of South-East Asia, Singapore, 1988.
Robyn Maxwell, Textiles of Southeast Asia : tradition, trade and transformation, Canberra, 1990.