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In recent years there has been an increased interest in the art of Indonesian textiles, and it has been noted that eastern Indonesia provides a particularly rich field of investigation for ikat-patterned cloth. Yet so far, a detailed study based on in-situ research has been lacking. This book is the result of fieldwork on Lembata, still a remote island, which however has provided some of the finest ikat fabrics in collections outside Indonesia.
While investigating closely one specific design tradition, the author also considers historical links to other parts of Southeast and South Asia. Indian trade cloth, in particular the spectacular double-ikat patola, have had a marked effect on local textile production: Their influence on indigenous designs is a major aspect of the study. The tradition of weaving and the importance of cloth is interpreted in its social, iconographic, and technological setting.
This book provides an unprecedented case study which should be of interest to historians, art historians, and anthropologists with an interest in the social context of material culture.
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