Size: 27.5 x 147 in (70 x 373 cm)
Provenance: Mindanao, Philippines, mid 20th Century (?).
Method: Warp ikat on natural fiber using natural dyes. The fiber comes from the abaca plant which is similar to a banana tree. The fibers are stripped from the pulp inside the stem and are dried, combed and bleached in the sun. The colors used for the dyeing are black from the leaves of the K’nalum tree, yellow from the wild tumeric plant and red from the roots of the Loco tree. The yarn is not spun, but the long, single fibers are separated and joined end to end to form a continuous warp thread.
Description: Very long runner made with a du jour ikat technique. Weaving is done on a backstrap loom, usually set up inside the house, for long lengths woven (up to 8 meters) needs to be supported. The weaving is usually warp faced plain weave woven with black abaca. After the cloth is woven, it is polished to a high sheen with a cowrie shell. This tribal textile purportedly comes from the tribal groups of the B'laan group or the neighboring Bagobo in Mindanao (thanks, MAC). The textile shares traits with both Hainan and Taiwanese aboriginal textiles, and the Kutei peoples of Kalimantan.
Use: A reported use is for the length is to be cut in half and sown into a tube skirt. As noted before, they are very similar to certain Iban ikat skirts from Borneo. Another description has the full length being used as a funerary cloth. Ikat pieces such as this are rare.
Condition: Very good.