Good Morning, Champa!


Sunday AfterLOOM to Champhala.


[07] Last week we got the message in a bottle, that our beloved Dr. Samson Dietrich Sauerbier has left his bottle already on 4th of October 2019; since then never seen again!


He is the forecaster (Wahrnehmungstheorie & Semiotik) of the khb (kunsthochschule berlin-weißensee); without him the whole tribe and their entire (reception of the) world seems pretty endangered!


So this week‘s Sunday AfterLOOM we use to celebrate a requiem while the funeral happening. [„Bettler later than never!“ und/oder „Es muss einem ja auch mal gesagt werden“ - sds2001]


The Ancient Thing

Let us use this moment to demonstrate a bit of the world from the other side of the loom. Not the production of garment but keeping contact to the „ancient thing“ was and is still main purpose of the loom, that keeps the reception of the woven world in balance and in-tact. First piece of a cultural cloth - made by silk! - may be woven for funeral purpose (shroud). It‘s a type of modified Austronesian funeral by a station loom of the Cham people in Vietnam. The essence of Sauerbier gets sprinkled all over the ground while thousands of looms ride over. For this purpose his „“Fetisch“-collection appears pretty predestinated, du Champ!


Champa Station

Champa was a Hindu kingdom (later mainly muslim) in nowadays Vietnam. All time long always in struggle with the surrounding kingdoms, in the mid of the 19th century it got erased from the landmap, but their looms are still going on. It‘s a pretty cozy station-type of a Loin loom (backstrap loom) with all kind of comfort and a real eye-catcher! 


The Cham people belong to the Sundanese people, and so a part of the Austronesian world. Once leaving Borneo homeland in Indonesia they separated and returned to the mainland at the Mekhong Delta. Later they established the Champa kingdom at the 3rd century CE. They have been great sailors, navigators and traders on top. Their architecture and cultural habits are remarkable!


Looms of Champa 

Due to the situation we‘ll find several different cultural looms within nowadays Vietnam, but also the Cham made use of several types of looms, as far we know. Some of the tribes (Rade) use still the type of basic stake loom without any additional station, that we presented you already at the second Sunday Afterloom (Cham Pa-Rade).


This basic loin loom with a circular warp has got fixed onto a wooden station, made by 2 rails & poles. This station is a kind of prototype for the following seat loom generation, a kind of half-frame looms. The tension is still controlled by the weaver‘s loin. This size of station loom isn‘t that much mobile anymore, just flexible enough to move around within a small distance area or by car……or easily stored away. But the basic loom elements can be separated within seconds and the loom is ready to go 4U. You may find also smaller sizes of station looms, this heavy size-type of station allows me any possible width, that‘s demanded.


Batten Rest & Foot Brace

This type of station loom is a seldom thing on southeast Asian mainland, but a typical development for Indonesian loin looms. And as most of these Indonesian station looms the Cham station set includes a so-called batten rest, a small flat table to rest the batten on precious level, while insertion of the weft yarn. (This table is missing on show today!) Another essential part for most of loin looms is the so-called foot brace. As you can imagine, it‘s a very functional component of the loom, as it supports the tension.


Just another advanced Foot Loom?

On top it shows out, that even these much more comfortable station-type of loin looms are at the end still a type of advanced foot looms. Other methods and developments (I.e. Bali & Hmong/Miao) show, that this is not really necessarily a functional thing, but a cultural bridge kept on functional sphere. Have an eye onto the pretty ancient solution to reach the foot brace if the length of the warp is oversized!


Another precious thing with the Cham Station are the two diagonal rails, made by bamboo canes. They are used to set the level of the warp beam, on top to rest several components of the loom and last but not least to ease orientation and balance for the weaver.


If you are interested in backstrap weaving we guess this is the most interesting kind of station loom, that offers you many solutions within just one model. With some few modifications you may simulate most other cultural and/or functional types of loin looms.




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