Ancestor Hinggi: Sumba Ikat
47 inches x 8 6 inches feet 100% Cotton
The identifiable creatures that appear on royal Sumbanese textiles include animals of ritual sacrifice, such as cocks or chickens, as well as deer with spreading horns. Shrimp and lobsters can also be depicted and symbolize rebirth—shrimps because they shed and replace their shells, and lobsters because they can regenerate their limbs in a process of renewal. As such, shrimp and lobsters are symbolic of a ruler's powers. Images of people represent ancestors.
This antique Hinggi has many of these symbols woven into it including:
Ancestor people, Devil like people, Crocodiles, Snakes, Birds, Monkeys, Lizards
This Hinggi is for wrapping the cherished dead. They look new because they were never used.
Made in identical pairs, they are mirror images end to end and side to side sewn together down the middle, and have an uneven number of horizontal bands ranging from 5-11. Only two colors, indigo and red, are used in the dyeing but in combination they can create a fairly broad palette. On this piece the ends are finished with a woven strip, called a kabakil, to further enhance the piece and to secure the warp threads.
Please refer to the information on hinggi's on the previous page.
Hand Woven in Sumba, Indonesia