VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Ikat cloth, maburi
VK5114-260
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This remarkable ikat is a good example of objects with several meanings which derive partly from their qualities, partly from the social structure and belief system of the people using them. In the beginning of the 20th century, the people living in Central Sulawesi still commonly produced and used bark cloth garments. They also possessed various types of imported textiles from other parts of Sulawesi, Indonesia, and India called bana or mbesa cloths. Compared to indigenous bark cloth, textiles were rare, expensive, durable and beautifully coloured in bright and resistant colours. They could be passed from generation to generation, e.g. they were part of family and kin-group property. These qualities, along with the fact that the textiles apparently originated outside the area, made them significant objects. There are few similar ikats in museum collections but with very scanty information.

History of the Object
This ikat was acquired by a Finnish missionary Edvard Rosenlund (1895– 1939) in Bora while working in Central Sulawesi between 1919–1928. He collected about 500 objects, took photos, made a film and wrote several newspaper articles about the local culture.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
cotton 
Measurements
Width 127 cm Length 130 cm  
Creator name
Southern part of Central Sulawesi (Celebes) , Indonesia 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Indonesia; Probably Galumpang or Rongkong area, Central Sulawesi 
Geography
Indonesia 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
Before 1928 
Function
This ikat cloth was used by the To Kaili people in Bora, Central Sulawesi as bride-wealth and worn as skirts by wealthier women. According to Rosenlund "It was customary earlier to have to pay a maburi as a fine for offending a person of noble birth, for instance by coming upon her in the act of bathing, etc." 
Acquisition
Acquired by the National Museum of Finland in 1930. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Text by Eija-Maija Kotilainen Photos Markku Haverinen, 2006 Parpola, Marjatta. Textiles from Celebes and Sangir at the National Museum of Finland. In: Oceanic Studies, ed. by Jukka Siikala, Transactions of the Finnish Anthropological Society No. 11. Eija-Maija Kotilainen, "When The Bones Are Left". A Study of the Material Culture of Cnetral Sulawesi. The Finnish Anthropological Society No. 31. Helsinki 1992. 
Owner
State property. National Board of Antiquities, Finland 
Museum
Museum of Cultures, National Museum of Finland 
Credit line
 

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