Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle: 166 pages

Borneo Ikat Textiles: Style Variations, Ethnicity, and Ancestry

Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

March 30, 2024

Traude Gavin (Author)


Publisher: Tracing Patterns Foundation

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1736777440

ISBN-13: 978-1736777442

Item Weight:

Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.56 x 11 inches

Among the numerous ethnic groups on the island of Borneo, one group in particular-the Iban of the Malaysian state of Sarawak-stands out for their spectacular heritage of handwoven textiles. Over the past forty years, their richly decorated ikat textiles have been the subject of intense collecting activity and numerous publications. The textiles of the Iban-related groups of West Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo, however, have not received the same kind of attention, as most textiles that have come into museum and private collections lack provenance and very little is known about the weavers that produced them.

Based on the author’s fieldwork in Sarawak and West Kalimantan, this book provides an authoritative view of the style variations made by the Bugau, Banjur, Mualang, Kantu’, Desa, Demam, Senangan, Sebaru’, and Ketungau Sesat peoples, as well as by the Balau Iban. Dr Traude Gavin’s research is timely since many of these field examples have likely been sold or lost to decay since the research was carried out. Well-meaning attempts to revive weaving traditions regrettably have resulted in the ‘scrambling’ of styles that formerly were a mark of these ethnic groups.

The core of the book comprises field notes and over 200 illustrations of textiles, linking field specimens to selected examples in museum and private collections. Complex issues of ethnic labels, ancestry, and identity are discussed and placed in historical perspective from pre-colonial times to the present. This book may be used as a tool for curators, collectors, and those interested in the weaving traditions of Borneo, with which to identify the ethnic background of the weavers who created the specimens in their collections. The book corrects misleading terminology that has appeared in recent publications illustrating West Kalimantan textiles and gives a more in-depth and rounded perspective of the textiles made by these little-known groups.

This is a scholarly, timely, and vital book that will expand our view of this once vibrant and diverse weaving tradition.

This book is produced by the Tracing Patterns Foundation in collaboration with Traude Gavin. The proceeds from its sale will support the non-profit’s mission of advancing traditional textile arts scholarships.

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