A Stitch in Time

SavuDec2008_1I have always wondered about the interesting stitching at the head and foot of each Savu sarong textile. This last trip I asked Ina Hale in Namata, who is a member of the Hawu Miha weaver group. She told me that this stitching is calledbunga wurumada. Bunga means decoration or flower andwarumada refers to the head and foot of the textile. It indicates that the weaver has taken responsibility for completing the textile, both technically and ritually. After the textile is taken off the loom, the warp threads are cut and then the two ends are sewn together to create a tube sarong worn by a woman. Before sewing the textile, the weaver must sacrifice a chicken. Continue reading »

Timor Weavers

TimorNov2008_1Theresia Alle Ngaing is a weaver in her 60s from the Helong ethnic group of Kupang, Timor. In 2006, when Willy first met her, she was often sick. She could do no red dyeing as there were no local Morinda trees. Willy had her ikat-patterned threads dyed in Amarasi. She and her daughter then wove with these threads. As I sat with Theresia admiring the newly finished pieces, she told me her health and enthusiasm had returned. She feels useful again and is eager to revive Helong`s textile tradition.

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