Leiden: Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land, 2003.
356 pp. 8 color plates 213 black and white. 6.5 x 9.5 Paperback in Very Good- condition. Deaccessioned from a museum research library with minimal marks. Sticker to spine. Item #BOOKS005992I
Iban Ritual Textiles draws on years of fieldwork and the author's documentation of hundreds of Iban cloths. Topics include the ritual functions of Iban ikat fabrics; the technical aspects of producing such cloths and the power and efficacy of cloth patterns, dreams and charms. The main focus, however is on the cloth patterns themselves and on the names assigned to them. Here the author challenges some long-held misconceptions, in particular the notion of designs as a 'primitive form of language'. Building on this novel perspective, the author sets the role of weavers as technicians against the power of patterns as an index for a weaver's relative rank. The study also examines the association of female prestige and weaving with the parallel structure of male status and headhunting. Findings further are discussed in the context of both former and more recent intellectual frameworks. This is the first in-depth study of Iban ikat cloth based on extensive field research and should be of interest to anthropologists, art historians and scholars with an interest in the textile traditions of Southeast Asia. Traude Gavin is a freelance researcher and lecturer and lives in Wales. -Cover.