Sulawesi

Textile Archive  Bali  Flores  Java  Kalimantan  Lembata  Savu  Sulawesi  Sumba  Timor  Micronesia

Sarita


T02.SW.BI.853

Master weaver Lilis is among the few women among the Karutaun people who is still making the sarita textile using this batik method. She is a descendent of a lineage of women who were given the gift to make this type of textile.

Master weaver Lilis is among the few women among the Karutaun people who is still making the sarita textile using this batik method. She is a descendent of a lineage of women who were given the gift to make this type of textile.

A Sarita is a wax resist textile used by the Toraja Karataun people of Batuisi and Saluleke in the western mountain range of Toraja as a ceremonial decoration. The black color comes from mud dyes. This cloth depicts the tale of the ancestral hero Kapunan Poki, who is symbolized here as a crocodile and whose shortened tail symbolizes injuries sustained fighting many battles for his people. In mythology, he was last seen at Minanang where two rivers join and it is only the people of this area that are allowed to tell this story. The story was first recorded on cloth when a child sleeping in the forest with his parents urinated on a white blanket. When the blanket dried in the morning the motifs emerged.

  • Ceremonial cloth
  • 2012
  • Woven, batiked and dyed by Lilis
  • Batik tulis, commercial cotton, mud dyes
  • 54 x 340 cm (21 x 134 inches)
  • Code # T02.SW.BI.853

 

 

 

Marilotong


T.SW.BI.214-Marilotong-Large

0909-SWBI-PTPE-Megawati-002P

Weaver Megawati poses in traditional Karataun clothing.

Marilotong textiles are colored with what may have been mankind’s first dye: mud. The Karataun people of western Sulawesi say that the very first textile was discovered by their ancestors, hanging in a cave. That textile was colored with mud.

Black and white symbolize heaven and earth, and all marilotong represent the human world, where heaven and earth come together. That meeting is no mere horizon. The motifs on marilotong can appear electric, crackling with energy, even seeming to seethe on the cloth. But those motifs depict a deep, complex order, describing the structures both of the natural world and of human society.

The central ikat motif, called Ulu Karua Kasale, refers to the eight traditional priests of a Karataun community. Each of the eight priests is responsible for one aspect of the well-being of the village.

  • Ceremonial Hanging
  • 2009
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Megawati
  • Batuisi village, West Sulawesi
  • Warp ikat
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 128 cm x 196 cm (50 in x 77 in)
  • Code # T.SW.BI.214

 

 

 

Sekomandi


T-SW-BI-081-Large

The hearest market town is four days travel by foot, jeep, and motorbike from Megawati's village, Saluleke, West Sulawesi.

The hearest market town is four days travel by foot, jeep, and motorbike from Megawati’s village, Saluleke, West Sulawesi.

The Toraja Karataun people live in an isolated, mountainous section of West Sulawesi barely serviced by the Indonesian state. Highly self-reliant, they grow their own food, educate their own children, and cultivate their rich culture and beautiful textile tradition. Mountains and administrative boundaries separate the Karataun from the other Torajan peoples, the Toraja Sadan and the Toraja Mamasa.

The name sekomandi refers to the brotherhood of the surrounding villages. Early sekomandi were used to wrap the ’’sick’’–as the Torajans refer to the dead who have not yet been buried–but in recent generations their function has changed. Today, these large cloths decorate the bride’s bower at traditional marriages, and trade hands as wedding gifts. The primary motif on this sekomandi is called dassi bone, after a wild chicken that lives along lakes and streams.

  • Ceremonial Hanging
  • 2006
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Megawati
  • Batuisi village, West Sulawesi
  • Warp ikat
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 152 x 197 cm. (60 x 77 in)
  • Code # T.SW.BI.081

 

 

 

Selendang


T-SW-BI-090-Large

T-SW-BI-090-Support

Yusnani ties an ikat design.

To the west of Rantepao, Sulawesi, lie the rugged, trackless mountains of Karataun. In the mythic past, the people of Karataun wove the very first sacred cloth, which they called ba`ba de`ata,the ikat of God. Today, Batuisi villagers continue the sacred weaving tradition handed down to them by their grandmothers. The Karataun plant their cotton only on nights with bright stars; they say the brightness will filter down from the heavens and into their crop.
According to Dorce, Batuisi village once forged a marriage alliance with Tonoling, a town in the mountains farther to the north. The motif on this slender cloth is called tonoling, and records the ancient partnership.

  • Shoulder Cloth
  • 2006
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Dorce
  • Batuisi village, West Sulawesi
  • Warp ikat
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 23 x 212 cm. (9 x 83.5 in)
  • Code # T.SW.BI.090