Timor

Fine Crafts Archive Flores Kalimantan Lembata Rote Savu Sumba Timor

Na`i


C-PO-BN-006-Priok-Large

Amanuban pottery market, West Timor.The Timorese people use these large, open earthenware pots for cooking, washing, and for fermenting indigo leaves to make rich blue dyes for textiles. Ora It Laborah cooperative, from Benlutu village, West Timor, makes these na`i pots. The cooperative uses all traditional methods: the pots are pit-fired over dried cow dung and hand-painted with natural mineral pigments. Smoke and dye stains give each pot a unique character.
Dynamic local traditions in pottery, weaving, and basketry thrive in every corner of West Timor. Each part of the island features unique designs, motifs, and colors. Natural plant and mineral dyes are still used in many traditional art forms.

 

  • Dye Pot
  • 2004
  • Made by Dorkas Talan
  • Benlutu village, West Timor
  • Ceramic
  • Height 16 cm. (6 in)
  • Code # C.PO.BN.006

 

Na`i


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Smoke stains give each post unique character.

Smoke stains give each post unique character.

Ora It Laborah cooperative, from Benlutu village, West Timor, makes these na`i pots. The cooperative uses all traditional methods: the pots are pit-fired over dried cow dung and hand-painted with natural mineral pigments. The Timorese people use large, openna`i for cooking, washing, and for fermenting indigo leaves to make the rich blue dyes for textiles. Small, lidded pots like this one are used as coin banks, an idea which arrived along with Dutch currency during the colonial period.
Dynamic local traditions in pottery, weaving, and basketry thrive in every corner of West Timor. Each part of the island features unique designs, motifs, and colors. Natural plant and mineral dyes are still used in many traditional art forms.

  • Coin Bank
  • 2007
  • Benlutu village, West Timor
  • Ceramic
  • Height 20 cm. (8 in)
  • Code # C.PO.BN.011

 

Kal Ao


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Etching shallow designs in bamboo, Boti, West Timor.

Etching shallow designs in bamboo, Boti, West Timor.

A kal ao is a container for lime powder, made from bamboo and polished with beeswax to bring out the design. Hosts and guests share betel nut quid–a pinch of powdered lime, pepper and leaves from the sireh plant (Piper betle), and a slice of the nut of thepinang palm (Areca catechu)–as a sign of hospitality and good will.
Each kal ao is carved with a unique combination of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and geometric patterns, which often echo local traditional designs. Men carry their kal ao, kalat, or other lime container with them in a traditional cloth bag called an aluk. A man`s aluk will also hold pinang nuts and other betel chewing ingredients, and a feku, a cow whistle. Each man carefully trains his cows to respond only to the particular sound of his feku.

  • Lime Container
  • 2007
  • Oinlasi village, West Timor
  • Bamboo
  • Height 16 cm. (6.5 in)
  • Code # C.TM.AM.001

 

Beo Unus


C-TM-OL-007-Large

Many small items can be tucked in a Timorese roof.

Many small items can be tucked in a Timorese roof.

The Timorese store traditional medicines in these carved wooden jars, which hang from the rafters or woven roofs of traditional houses across the island. Beo unus means “bottle for chili peppers,“ a common ingredient in Timorese medicine. Other remedies contain tuak, fermented palm sap, and local medicinal herbs. In West Timor, wooden implements like this are usually carved from hau matani (Pterocarpus indica), a hard, red, insect resistant wood. The “hook and lozenge“ motifs carved on this beo unus are often found on local textiles.

  • Medicine bottle
  • 2007
  • Kuafeu village, West Timor
  • Wood
  • Height 18 cm. (7 in)
  • Code # C.TM.OL.007

 

Kalat Sunaf


C-TM-OL-011-Kalat Sunaf-Large

Lime is also an ingredient in some natural dyes.

Lime is also an ingredient in some natural dyes.

A kalat is a container for lime powder, made from bone, horn, or wood, and topped with a carved wooden stopper. Hosts and guests share betel nut quid–a pinch of powdered lime, pepper and leaves from the sireh plant (Piper betle), and a slice of the nut of thepinang palm (Areca catechu)–as a sign of hospitality and good will.
Each kalat is carved with a unique combination of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and geometric patterns, which often echo local traditional designs. Men carry their kalat with them in a traditional cloth bag called analuk. A man`s aluk will also carrypinang nuts and other betel chewing ingredients, and a feku, a cow whistle. Each man carefully trains his cows to respond only to the particular sound of his feku.

 

  • Lime Container
  • 2007
  • Kuafeu village, West Timor
  • Buffalo horn, wood
  • Height 23 cm. (9 in)
  • Code # C.TM.OL.011

 

Kalat Nuif


C-TM-TM-011-Kalat Muif-Large

Shells, coral or limestone can be crushed to make lime powder.

Shells, coral or limestone can be crushed to make lime powder.

A kalat is a container for lime powder, made from bone, horn, or wood, and topped with a carved wooden stopper. Hosts and guests share betel nut quid–a pinch of powdered lime, pepper and leaves from the sireh plant (Piper betle), and a slice of the nut of thepinang palm (Areca catechu)–as a sign of hospitality and good will.
Each kalat is carved with a unique combination of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and geometric patterns, which often echo local traditional designs. Men carry their kalat with them in a traditional cloth bag called analuk. A man`s aluk will also carrypinang nuts and other betel chewing ingredients, and a feku, a cow whistle. Each man carefully trains his cows to respond only to the particular sound of his feku.

 

  • Lime Container
  • 2007
  • Boti, West Timor
  • Cow bone
  • Height 18.5 cm. (7 in)
  • Code: C.TM.TM.011

 

Kul Mau


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Carrying a full kul mao, Boti, TImor.

Carrying a full kul mao, Boti, TImor.

In Boti and other remote Timorese villages, horses carry these kul mausaddlebags to market bursting with corn, eggs, and other produce. This kul mau is made from a fiber calledgabang, which the locals extract from the leaves of the gabang palm tree(Corypha utan), roll into twine, and weave on a loom.
About seventy families live in the isolated traditional community of Boti, in the Amanuban highlands of West Timor. Until two years ago, Boti`s three hundred residents walked their horses along a dry riverbed for five hours to reach the local market. Each rainy season, the swelling of the river made this journey impossible. Today, a new mountain road avoids the river valley. The new road itself becomes impassable in the rainy months, but each dry season cars, trucks, and motorbikes connect Boti to the outside world.

 

  • Saddlebag
  • 2007
  • Boti village, West Timor
  • Gabang palm leaf
  • 88 x 33 cm. (5 x 13 in)
  • Code: C.TM.TM.037

 

Kalai


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Making a kalai, Boti, West Timor.

Making a kalai, Boti, West Timor.

The Timorese roll gabang fibers against their upper legs with the palms of their hands to make the twine in these bags. Men spin nearly all gabangtwine, and kalai weaving is a men`s activity. These are everyday, utilitarian bags, and you might easily spot a man returning home from the markets of West Timor with his kalai full of corn or eggs.Gabang fiber comes from the leaves of the tall, fire resistant Corypha utanpalm. The gigantic fan-shaped leaves of the Corypha can grow up to three meters in diameter. Full-grown fronds are cut into broad strips and woven into stiff mats for floors or walls. The finer, more flexible gabang fiber is extracted from younger leaves, which are harvested when they reach about a meter in length. The Timorese weave gabang into rope, hats, baskets, trays, and sails.

 

  • Net Bag
  • 2007
  • Boti village, West Timor
  • Gabang palm fiber
  • Length 45 cm. (18 in)
  • Code # C.TM.TM.043

 

Sarek Barek


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Martinus shows off his betel-red smile, West Timor.

Martinus shows off his betel-red smile, West Timor.

This ceremonial betel nut bag, decorated with antique beads and bells, completes men`s traditional dress. A Timorese man would drop his tobacco,feku cow whistle, and betel quid ingredients into his sarek barek, and drape it over his shoulder with one hand through the short straps. The betel quid includes a leaf and a piece of pepper from the sireh plant (Piper betle), a slice of the nut of the pinangpalm (Areca catechu), and powdered coral or limestone.Hosts serve betel to guests like coffee, and visitors bring it as a gift to their hosts. When chewed together, the leaf, nut and lime 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.

 

  • Cloth Shoulder Bag
  • 2006
  • Dyed and woven by Rosalia Bubu
  • Loo Neke village, West Timor
  • Warp-faced plain weave, supplementary wefts
  • Cotton, natural dyes, beads and bells
  • 61 x 26 cm. (24 x 10 in)
  • Code # J.TA.PT.008


Ok Tute


Colorful Timorese traditional dress, Benlutu, West Timor

Many Timorese regularly chew betel nut quid, a combination of local plants and powdered lime that produces a mild intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. These lontar leaf ok tutecylinders were made to hold sirehleaves (Piper betle), one ingredient in the betel quid. Timorese men tie ok tute to their belts, and carry the other betel quid ingredients in a shoulder bag–peppery sireh flower spikes, nuts from the pinang palm(Areca catechu), and lime powder. Some craftspeople decorate ok tute with beads, and others with sotis, a fabric woven with colorful supplementary warps.
The peoples of eastern Indonesia use every part of the tall, slender lontar palm(Borassus flabellifer). Sweet lontar sap is a primary food source in Savu and Roti, especially during the long dry season. Young, un-opened lontar leaves are cut into fine strips and woven into baskets, hats or bags. Older leaves are plaited into large mats for roofing or floor coverings.

 

  • Sireh Leaf Baskets
  • 2005
  • Woven by Aplonia Talan
  • Benlutu village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf, cotton, beads
  • Height 10.5 cm. (4 in)
  • Code # C.BS.BN.002


Oko Mama


Personalize your own oko mama

Women in West Timor like to buy a plain oko mama and decorate it themselves. They cover the unadornedlontar leaf baskets with beads or colorful fabric woven with sotissupplementary warps, or buna warp wrappings. Traditionally, oko mama hold the ingredients of the betel quid: nuts from the pinang palm (Areca catechu), leaves and peppery flower spikes from the malesireh plant (Piper betle), and powdered lime. When chewed together, they produce a mild intoxication–and a mass of red saliva.
The peoples of eastern Indonesia use every part of the tall, slender lontar palm(Borassus flabellifer). Sweet lontar sap is a primary food source in Savu and Roti, especially during the long dry season. The young un-opened leaves are cut into fine strips and woven into baskets, hats or bags. Older leaves are plaited into large sections and used for roofs and sleeping mats.

 

  • Betel Nut Basket
  • 2005
  • Woven by Aplonia Talan
  • Benlutu village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf, cotton
  • Height 14 cm. (5.5 in)
  • Code # C.BS.BN.003

Kabi


Lontar palm leaf

Little kabi baskets hold the ingredients of the betel quid: nut from thepinang palm (Areca catechu), leaves and peppery flower spikes from the male sireh plant (Piper betle), and powdered lime. When chewed together, the combination produces 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 peoples of eastern Indonesia use every part of the tall, slender lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer). Sweet lontarsap is a valuable food source for traditional communities, especially during the long dry season. The young un-opened leaves are cut into fine strips and woven into baskets, hats or bags. Older leaves are plaited into large sections and used for roofs and sleeping mats.

 

  • Betel Nut Basket
  • 2007
  • Made by Getrudis Seko
  • Loo Neke village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Height 8 cm. (3 in)
  • Code # C.BS.PT.002

Koro Mama


Pushing colored fibers into the weave, West Timor

Many Timorese regularly chew betel nut quid, a combination of local plants and powdered lime that produces a mild intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. This lontar leaf koro mamabasket was made to hold the ingredients of the betel quid: leaves and peppery flower spikes from the male sireh plant (Piper betle), nuts from the pinangpalm (Areca catechu), and lime powder, called kapor. Chewing betel also decreases the appetite, a useful habit in areas where food and water are not plentiful.
The peoples of eastern Indonesia use every part of the tall, slender lontar palm(Borassus flabellifer). Sweet lontar sap is a primary food source in Savu and Roti, especially during the long dry season. Young, un-opened lontar leaves are cut into fine strips and woven into baskets, hats or bags. Older leaves are plaited into large mats for roofing or floor coverings.

 

  • Betel Basket
  • 2007
  • Baun village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Width 12.5 cm. (5 in)
  • Code # C.TM.AR.018

Oko Taka


Molo Benu belongs to the royal family of Boti, West Timor

This exceptionally ornate oko takabasket would contain nuts from thepinang palm (Areca catechu) and leaves and peppery flower spikes from the male sireh plant (Piper betle). A basket with this level of ornamentation would be reserved for the king of Boti, or for visiting royalty from nearby villages. The people of West Timor wrap a sliver of pinang and a piece ofsireh pepper in a sireh leaf, and chew them with a pinch of powdered limestone to produce a mild, pleasant intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. Any formal call in West Timor involves the exchange of these ingredients; guests offer them to an honored host, and hosts to honor a guest.
Until recently, Boti`s 300 residents walked along a parched riverbed for five hours to reach the local market. Each rainy season, the swelling of the river made this journey impossible. A new mountain road, itself impassable in the rainy months, now connects Boti to the outside world throughout the dry season.

 

  • Royal Betel Presentation Basket
  • 2006
  • Boti village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf, cotton thread
  • Height 30 cm. (12 in)
  • Code # C.TM.TM.002

Oko Sripi


A tapper scales a lontar

These betel baskets are woven from the fronds of the lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer). The peoples of eastern Indonesia exploit every part of thelontar. Full-grown lontar leaves are plaited into roofs and sleeping mats. Young, un-opened lontar fronds are curved into containers to carry water or collect palm sap, or are woven into hats, bags, and baskets. Sweet, milky lontar sap is an invaluable source of food for some traditional communities, especially during the long dry seasons. The sap can also be boiled down into a nutritious syrup or lumps of red-brown sugar.
Most of West Timor receives too little rain to support flooded rice fields, and many Timorese survive on corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, and a dry-field variety of rice called padi ladang. In some areas, hard times force the locals to subsist almost entirely on lontar sap.

  • Betel Nut Basket
  • 2007
  • Baun village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Length 9 cm. (3.5 in)
  • Code # C.TM.TM.016

Oko Mama Makolo


Totem atop a traditional house, Boti, West Timor

Oko mama baskets hold the ingredients for the betel quid: nuts from the pinang palm (Areca catechu),leaves and peppery flower spikes from the male sireh plant (Piper betle), and powdered lime from ground limestone or burnt seashells. The Timorese take a bite of each and chew them together to produce a mild, pleasant intoxication–and a mass of red saliva. Any formal visit involves the exchange of betel quids; guests offer them to an honored host, and hosts to honor a guest. A basket with such fine sotis and woven birds–the symbol of the Boti royal clan–would be saved for a special visitor, perhaps even the village leader.
Until recently, Boti`s 300 residents walked along a parched riverbed for five hours to reach the local market. Each rainy season, the swelling of the river made this journey impossible. A new mountain road, itself impassable in the rainy months, now connects Boti to the outside world throughout the dry season.

  • Ceremonial Betel Nut Basket
  • 2006
  • Boti village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf, cotton thread
  • Height 17 cm. (7 in)
  • Code # C.TM.TM.021