Man's textile (hinggi ikat)

East Sumba
20th century, about 1960
Unknown, 19th century, Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander

Object Place: East Sumba, Nusa Tenggara (Lesser Sunda Islands), Indonesia


Overall: 238.8 x 101.6 cm (94 x 40 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton and dye; ikat

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Ikat is a complex process in which threads, dyed before weaving, form the motifs in the cloth and produce intricate patterns in subtle colors. Such textiles probably circulated from Sumba to other islands for centuries, providing income for the female weavers. Here jumping horses arranged on a red background alternate with rows of snakes or dragons on an indigo background. Traditionally, these textiles were the female contribution to transactions such as marriage.


1970s, sold by Perry Kenner, New York, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart