Sumba

Fine Crafts Archive Flores Kalimantan Lembata Rote Savu Sumba Timor

Kalumbut Hada


C.SU.RE.028-Kalumbut Hada

Kaliti Njara on horse.

Kaliti Njara on horse.

A kalumbut hada is a beaded betel bag worn by the male papanggangu, a ritual representative at important ceremonies such as funerals; once, they headed agricultural rites as well. The word papanggangu means ritual attendant. A nobleman`s funeral ceremony requires at least one male and one female papanggangu, and as many as four to seven might be in attendance. During the funeral ceremony for Tamu Rambu Yuliana, the late great queen of the royal compound at Parai Yawangu, two male papanggangu–called the keliti njara and the lunggu manu–carried kalumbut hada bags. The keliti njara rode a horse at the head of the procession of papanggangu. The lunggu manu followed on foot carrying a rooster, a symbol of faith and continuity. The rooster crows each morning, without fail; his presence in the ceremony signified the family`s intention to fulfill the essential funerary rites.

  • Ceremonial Betelnut bag
  • 2007
  • Appliqued beads
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • 25 cm – 63 cm (9 x 24 in)
  • Made by Umbu Darius
  • Code # C.SU.RE.029

Tangawahilu Wala Mangata


Deftly weaving lontar strands, Rindi, Sumba

The people of Rindi offer betel to visitors as a sign of hospitality and respect; they say that betel nut opens the way to honest and friendly conversation. The Sumbanese would bring out a basket like this to honor a high-ranking guest. Tamu Rambu Ma Ayu used a rare technique to create the raised image of a rooster in the center of this piece. The rooster is an important animal in the Sumbanese tradition; locals believe that roosters bear witness to ritual proceedings as representatives of the ancestors. Users chew a sliver of a nut from the pinang palm tree (Areca catechu), the leaves and peppery flower spikes of the male sireh plant (Piper betle), and powdered lime to produce a mild intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. Chewing betel also suppresses the appetite, a useful side-effect in areas where food and water are not plentiful. Ma Ayu and other basket weavers display their work, Rindi, Sumba

  • Betel Basket
  • 2006
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • Width 21 cm. (8 in)
  • Made by Tamu Rambu Ma Ayu
  • Code # C.BS.RE.003A

Tanga Bola Uhu


Deftly weaving lontar strands, Rindi, Sumba

The people of Rindi offer betel to visitors as a sign of hospitality and respect; they say that betel nut opens the way to honest and friendly conversation. Users chew a sliver of a nut from the pinang palm tree (Areca catechu), a leaf and a piece of the peppery flower spike of the male sirehplant (Piper betle), and powdered lime to produce a mild intoxication-and a mass of red saliva. The rooster perched atop the lid is an important animal in the Sumbanese tradition; roosters must bear witness to many ritual proceedings, as representatives of the ancestors.
When Threads of Life met Tamu Rambu Ma Aya, she was the last master basket weaver in Parai Yawangu, the small capital village of the traditional domain of Rindi, East Sumba. Her pieces sold quickly, and Threads of Life came back to order more. Tamu Rambu kept up with demand by sharing her weaving skills with her daughter.

  • Betel Basket
  • 2006
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • Height 29 cm. (11.5in)
  • Made by Tamu Rambu Ma Aya
  • Code # C.BS.RE.007

Mbola Happa Pallaku


Dembi Tamar reveals the hidden compartments, Rindi, Sumba

The unusual mbola happa pallakuholds the ingredients of the betel nut quid, but also conceals a number of secret compartments. The people of Rindi village use these special drawers to hold mamuli, ornaments of delicately wrought gold that indicate high status. The Sumbanese offer betel to visitors as a sign of hospitality and respect; they say that betel nut opens the way to honest and friendly conversation. Users chew a sliver of a nut from the pinang palm tree (Areca catechu), a leaf and a piece of the peppery flower spike of the male sireh plant (Piper betle), and powdered lime to produce a mild intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. Chewing betel also suppresses the appetite, a useful side-effect in areas where food and water are not plentiful.
Threads of Life is working with the basket makers of Rindi, East Sumba to revive the intricate art of basketry.

  • Betel Basket
  • 2007
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • Height 26 cm. (10 in)
  • Made by Dembi Tamar
  • Code # C.SU.RE.012

Tangawahilu Kawudu Kalimang


Only masters can create these sculptural birds, Rindi, Sumba

The people of Rindi offer betel to visitors as a sign of hospitality and respect; they say that betel nut opens the way to honest and friendly conversation. Users chew a sliver of a nut from the pinang palm tree (Areca catechu), a leaf and a piece of a peppery flower spike from the malesireh plant (Piper betle), and powdered lime to produce a mild intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. Chewing betel also suppresses the appetite, a useful side-effect in areas where food and water are not plentiful.
The Sumbanese would serve betel in a kalimang only to guests of the highest rank. The woven rooster in the center is an important animal in the Sumbanese tradition; locals believe that roosters bear witness to ritual proceedings as representatives of the ancestors.

  • Betel Basket
  • 2007
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • Width 19 cm. (7.5 in)
  • Made by Tamu Rambu Ma Aya
  • Code # C.SU.RE.017

Ndabi Wai


Ma Aya displays her work, Rindi, Sumba

Basket weaver Tamu Rambu Ma Aya attained the rank of master only when she learned to create three-dimensional, sculptural pieces like thisndabi wai. Woven from a single lontar palm leaf, the ndabi wai is used to cover food offerings during traditional ceremonies. The rooster, perched atop the woven column of the ndabi, is an important animal in the Sumbanese tradition; roosters must bear witness to many ritual proceedings, as representatives of the ancestors.
When Threads of Life met Tamu Rambu Ma Aya, she was the last master basket weaver in Parai Yawangu, the small capital village of the traditional domain of Rindi, East Sumba. Her pieces sold quickly, and Threads of Life came back to order more. Tamu Rambu kept up with demand by sharing her weaving skills with her daughter.

  • Ceremonial Basket Cover
  • 2007
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • Height 34 cm. (13.5 in)
  • Made by Tamu Rambu Ma Aya
  • Code # C.SU.RE.021

Ndabi Ri


Tamu Rambu Ma Aya and her daughter

Basket weaver Tamu Rambu Ma Aya attained the rank of master only when she learned to create three-dimensional, sculptural pieces like this ndabi ri. Woven from a single lontar palm leaf, the ndabi ri is used to cover food offerings during traditional ceremonies. The rooster, perched atop the woven column of the ndabi, is an important animal in the Sumbanese tradition; roosters must bear witness to many ritual proceedings, as representatives of the ancestors.
When Threads of Life met Tamu Rambu Ma Aya, she was the last master basket weaver in Parai Yawangu, the small capital village of the traditional domain of Rindi, East Sumba. Her pieces sold quickly, and Threads of Life came back to order more. Tamu Rambu kept up with demand by sharing her weaving skills with her daughter.

  • Ceremonial Basket Cover
  • 2007
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Rindi village, Sumba
  • Height 17 cm. (7 in)
  • Made by Tamu Rambu Ma Aya
  • Code # C.SU.RE.022