Sunday AfroLOOM: Cham Pa-Rade

[03] Presentation of an experimental backstrap weaving loin loom of the Cham people in Central/Southern Vietnam. Yes, Vietnam! Not Africa, nor South America!


It represents the inner message of Cham people and has to be count to the last relics of their culture. And it's not primitive, it's gorgeous! And if you think, it's simple, you miss the art within! Austronesian loin looms like this have to be recognized as their cultural library, while their textiles are books for the world and letters of the ancestors.


It works with just one heddle and a circular warp, what isn't easy at all. The loin loom of the Cham is a seldom thing and a great example of the typical Vietnamese mix of varieties from all over its neighbourhood: 


Circular Warp

Its circular warp is a characteristic of original Austronesian looms, you won't find with Archimedes or other Greeks. It's quiet the same model as it started probably more than 5.000 years ago on Chinese mainland, operating just by a batten, but no reed comb.


The flat warp-type of Austronesian Loin Looms you'll find most in Western Indonesia is an influence of Songkhet-weaving, came up from Malaysian frame looms in much later times of common era (about 900 CE and later). A circular warp is an essential to produce Ikat, another Austronesian speciality, as you find today more in the eastern part of Southeast Asia (mainly Philippines/Indonesia).  


Sundanese Roots

The loin loom (viet.: khung dệt vải lưNgoako) and the Cham (ꨂꨣꩃ ꨌꩌꨛꨩ | Urang Campa | Người Chăm) by themselves are related to the Sundanese people of Java (Indonesia), sowith Austronesians on mainland. About 2000 years ago they left Borneo, settling along the Mekhong Delta for trade, later on (about 2nd century CE) setting up the Kingdom of Champa in nowadays Vietnam; since the mid of 1900th century erased from the landmap.


In essence the borders of nowadays Vietnam are equal to the former Champa Kingdom. As they have been great sailors, navigators and mainly traders, it seems they had not their own type of loom when they went back to the mainland, but by inventing their kingdom, they needed a loom for cultural presentation.


Even their loom looks different to the actual version of Sundanese looms on Java, the type is similar: Both are dealing with a mobile station (a characteristic of Looms on Java and neighbouring Sumatra, Bali and Lombok) and the typical batten rest-table.


The difference may be the original circular warp of the Cham Loom and the already modified flat warp-system of the Sundanese Loom. So the Cham Loom may give us an idea of the original Sundanese Loom before modification.


Nowadays not many Cham people, only the so-called "Hindu-Cham" are left working with this kind of an Indonesian-style station loom. Most of nowadays Cham are working on frame looms (at least 2 types) or as the Rade (Ede) people with a plain loin loom-model without any station nor batten rest-table. Here we can just speculate, that the plain-style Rade loin loom  may be similar to the original loin loom of the Sundanese people in their Borneo era.  So this situation here may recall the original Sundanese Loom on Borneo and may give us a hint about the period, this change may have happened.


The Name of the Ox 

By the way, the ox is another characteristic of Austronesian culture. Taming the buffalo means to settle for the agriculture of wet rice-fields. The 'Lucky Ox'-sign is designed by our Taiwanese mate & calligrapher Yuewei (王玥巍) 


In Summer 2021 every Sunday from 2 to 4 PM at the Drielandenpunt of Vaals. You're welcomed to join us on our journey to Champa at Sunday AfterLOOM! Meet the bushweavers of Limburg!




Willkommen bei den Buschwebern von Limburg. Begleite uns auf unserer Reise nach Champa mittels der Vorstellung eines weiteren Hüftwebgeräts am Dreilländereck Aachen-Vaals von Mac & Magic Loom Design im Sommer 2021. Bei gutem Wetter jeden Sonntag von 14:00-16:00. 


Dieser Loin Loom oder backstrap loom ist ein Hüftwebgerät mit nur einem Litzenstock, dafür aber einer rundlaufenden Kette von 40 cm Breite. Es handelt sich um das Basiswebgerät eines Cham Webstuhls. Den "Stuhl" bzw. die hölzerne Webstation haben wir zuhause gelassen und uns mit dem Dreiländerbaum verbunden. Das ist vielleicht das Tolle an so einem Cham Webstuhl: Zuhause hat man einen "Webrahmen", der einem eine gewisse Stabilität verspricht, dennoch bleibt das Basisgerät mobil und flexibel. Wer kann schon mit seinem Webstuhl spazieren gehen? Ein weiterer Vorteil, den der Cham Loom mit sich bringt, das erfahrene Weber hiermit Ketten von 1,20 m weben können. Aber schon der Umgang mit dieser 40 cm breiten, rundlaufenden Kette will gelernt sein. Die Chams arbeiten meist mit einem einzigen durchgehenden Litzenfaden, der kaum beherrschbar scheint. Schnell hängen einzelne Kettfäden, wo immer sie wollen. 



Welkom@public showLOOM: Presentatie van een experimenteel heupgetouw van de Cham ethnic in Zuid Vietnam op het Drielandenpunt Vaals. Iederen Zondag van 14:00 tot 16:00 in Zomer 2021. (Maar niet bij regen!) Ontmoet de Boswevers va' Limburg!


腰機 | 背帶織機 | ヒップ織機 | バックストラップ織機 | バックストラップ織り機 | 

스트랩 직기 | กี่เอว | khung dệt vải lưNgoako





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