Field Notes Sulawesi

Slide 1     How exciting to have a box of textiles arrive at Threads of Life office from the weavers of Karataun, central Sulawesi this week! Karataun is the most remote area Threads of Life works in. I have to fly from Bali to Makassar, then take a ten hour bus drive, then another day ride in a battered jeep crossing rivers using motorized dugout canoes, and just going until the roads run out. At this point Daud (our Torajan field staff) and I switch to motorbikes for another day, and then walk the final distance. Its about three days in total to get there.


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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 »