Timor

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Tais


T01.TM.BK.536

0710-TIKF-LIRA-Uma Bubu, Rumah Adat, Kefa-003J

The hay teas shrine in front of a traditional house in Timor is made from the root of a tree that has three branches. The branches represent god, nature and the ancestors.

The Nek Mese cooperative in the Amanatun region of Timor employs the supplementary buna technique typical of central Timor to extraordinarily beautiful effect. Buna, as used in the patterning at the foot of the textile, involves the wrapping of individual colored weft threads around the plain lengthwise warp threads while still on the loom. The work is very time consuming and the buna section of a textile can take up to 18 months to complete.

The buna wrap motif on this textile is called Atalae and represents a praying mantis. The Dawan people express ancestral images in their textiles in various forms. The atoni (human figure) and beso (frog) are depicted with outstretched arms and legs. The Atalaepraying mantis has extended arms that can hold its prey and also a head that moves in an almost human way as it looks around. All of these images remind the people of the way of the ancestors, and speak both to maintaining ancestral customs and venerating the ancestors. For a weaver this is particularly important, for by weaving her clan motifs she continues to ’’bring down’’ knowledge to the people of the current generation – thus the stories, values and ethics that guide their way of life can be passed on.

  • Woman`s Ceremonial Tubular Skirt
  • 2012
  • Supplementary Warp Wrap Patterning
  • Bokong, Timor
  • Silk and Commercial Cotton Threads Natural Dyes
  • 62 x 120 cm (24 in x 47 in)
  • Dyed and woven by Antoneta Sae
  • Code # T01.TM.BK.536

 

 

 

Tais


T01-TM-BK-378

0805-TOBO-PTPE-Rebeka Melu, Bokong-002C

Rebeka Melu is the head of the Nek Mese weavers’ cooperative.

The Nek Mese cooperative in the Amanatun region of Timor employs the supplementary buna technique typical of central Timor to extraordinarily beautiful effect. Buna, as used in the patterning at the foot of the textile, involves the wrapping of individual colored weft threads around the plain lengthwise warp threads while still on the loom. The work is very time consuming and the buna section of a textile can take up to 18 months to complete.

The buna pattern on this cloth is called Lan Mese and is said to be Bokong’s oldest motif. Lan Mese, literally means ’’the way’’ or ’’one way’’, and is a series of human or ancestral figures joined together. It is believed that following ’’the way’’ of the ancestors creates the greatest sense of well being for the overall community. When Threads of Life first began to work with the Nek Mese weavers in 2004, only fish or star motifs were being made alongside the hook-and-lozenge patterns found on many Timor textiles. The people of Bokong are predominately Protestant and had abandoned many of their connections with the old ways. Through meeting other weavers in the Threads of Life network they have seen that their cultural heritage and their religion need not be mutually exclusive, and are now eager to recover their old motifs.

  • Women`s Ceremonial Tubular Skirt
  • 2011
  • Dyed and woven by Lea Benu
  • Bokong village, West Timor
  • Discontinuous warp wrappings
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 67 x 118 cm (26 x 46 in)
  • Code # T01.TM.BK.378

 

 

Bete Krao


T02.TM.PT.083-Bete Krao-Large

The deep, distinctive red of this man’s hip cloth points directly back to Lo’o Neke, a small village not far from the border of independent East Timor. Until recently, Lo’o Neke weavers had to overdye their threads as many as twenty-two times to get a color this deep. Now, thanks to dye plant research by Threads of Life sister non profit the YPBB Foundation, weavers can achieve this high quality of color using a fraction of the materials. The increase in efficiency has helped Lo’o Neke weavers begin to manage their dye resources more sustainably.

At one time, Lo’o Neke men would have worn beautiful cloth like this every day. Now they save them for ceremonial occasions. The motif in the main ikat stripes is called lenuk, the turtle, and represents fertility.

  • Man`s Ceremonial Hip Cloth
  • 2009
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Rosalinda Basa
  • Lo’o Neke, West Timor
  • Warp ikat
  • Handspun cotton, natural dyes
  • 112 cm x 197 cm (44 in x 78 in)
  • Code # T02.TM.PT.083

 

 

 

 

Futu


T-TM-BK-053-Large

Rebeka Melu demonstrates the naisa technique, Bokong, West Timor.

Rebeka Melu demonstrates the naisa technique, Bokong, West Timor.

Antoneta Sae picked out this electric design with buna warp wrappings. The tapestry strips at each end, callednaisa in the Dawan language, are a specialty of the Bokong region. Thenaisa on a classic futu are fringed with beads, shells, bells, or old Dutch coins.Naisa is the only weaving technique in West Timor that uses a loom with a fixed frame, instead of a backstrap loom.

Wealth and status could once be read in the number and style of a Timorese man’s futu belts. Today, futu with buna and naisa have begun to disappear. Timor is home to an incredible diversity of weaving styles, but many of those styles are practiced only in a small area. Some, like these futu, are limited to a few villages. If complex futu disappear from Molo and Amanatun, they will be completely lost. Threads of Life’s regular commissions help to keep the tradition of fringed and patterned futu alive.

  • Ceremonial Belt
  • 2007
  • Dyed by Yayasan Pecinta Budaya Bebali
  • Woven by Antoneta Sae
  • Bokong village, West Timor
  • Warp-faced plain weave with discontinuous warp wrappings, tapestry weave
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 17 x 166 cm. (7 x 65 in)
  • Code # T.TM.BK.053

 

 

 

 

Tai Bifel


TM-AR-034-Large

Unique to each individual, Baun, West Timor.

Unique to each individual, Baun, West Timor.

Even in West Timor, one of Indonesia’s richest weaving regions, Dina Nahak stands out as a master. Dina and hundreds of other women produce textiles of startling creativity and astonishing quality for Baun’s numerous weavers’ cooperatives. The Koroh royal clan once ruled the broad Amarasi plain from their capital at Baun, and their palace compound still dominates the village center. Present queen Ibu Koroh uses a secret combination of tree roots and tannin plants to produces her red dye, and carefully guards her recipe from outsiders. Her unique mixture produces a shade of red instantly recognizable to the trained eye. Dina wove green and white snake patterns into this cloth using a supplementary warp technique called sotis, a typical element of Amarasi style.

  • Woman`s Ceremonial Tubular Skirt
  • 2007
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Dina Nahak
  • Baun village, West Timor
  • Warp ikat, supplementary warps
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 131 x 236 cm. (52 x 93 in)
  • Code # T.TM.AR.034

 

 

 

 

Tais Marobos Raroti


T-TM-PT-020-Large

Blandina Feot adding buna wrappings, Loo Neke, West Timor.

Blandina Feot adding buna wrappings, Loo Neke, West Timor.

Unique religious traditions have developed in every corner of West Timor, and sometimes vary even between neighbors. Each clan maintains a holy spring and a sacred location, where clan members can pray and send offerings to the ancestors. The clans also identify themselves with a particular plant and animal, which they honor with ceremonies and sacrifices. Clan members never eat their sacred animal, and adorn their homes and their artwork with its image. Artist Blandina Feot belongs to a clan protected by the python, and her work features her clan motif, called umek poat, or snakeskin. She decorated the foot section of this tais with buna warp wrappings, which added months to the weaving time; start to finish, this piece took about one year. Stripes bisect the central ikat panel in a style called marobos, which is worn by married women with children. A piece this fine would belong to a member of Loo Neke village’s noble gentry.

  • Ceremonial Tubular Skirt
  • 2005
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Blandina Feot
  • Loo Neke village, West Timor
  • Warp ikat, discontinuous warp wrappings
  • Cotton, natural dyes, synthetic dyes (on warp wrappings)
  • 62 x 135 cm. (24.5 x 53 in)
  • Code # T.TM.PT.020

 

 

 

 

Tais Keut Bati


T-TM-PT-015-Large

Squeezing the red color from crushed tree roots, Loo Neke, West Timor.

Squeezing the red color from crushed tree roots, Loo Neke, West Timor.

The locals say an evil spirit namedkunti lanak roams the hills around Loo Neke, stealing unborn babies from their mothers’ wombs. Pregnant women can protect themselves from kunti lanak by wearing a tais with this motif, calledkoa ruruf after a plant with spiritually protective properties. Only married or mature women wear the tais keut bati,which is distinguished by a large central panel and plain outer sections. Girls, unmarried women, and elders all have styles of tais particular to their age group.

Rinca and Rosalia are members of a weavers’ cooperative called Putri Tunggal, or ’’women working as one.’’ Rosalia Bubu is a true master of the red dye process, and prepares reds for the entire cooperative. The deep, earthy red on thistais took months of dyeing and re-dyeing to produce.

  • Woman`s Tubular Skirt
  • 2006
  • Tied and dyed by Rosalia Bubu
  • Woven by Rinca
  • Loo Neke village, West Timor
  • Warp ikat
  • Handspun cotton, natural dyes
  • 72 x 126 cm. (28 x 49.5 in)
  • Code # T.TM.PT.015

 

 

Bete Ana


T-TM-TM-024-Large

Molo Benu weaving in the tae matani, Boti, West Timor.

Molo Benu weaving in the tae matani, Boti, West Timor.

Handspun thread and natural dyes give this piece weight, a rough texture, a and rich floral smell. The main motif, called ka`ef nuto, was picked out with a floating warp technique called sotis. This long, narrow cloth was woven in Boti, West Timor, by a weavers` cooperative called Tae Matani. Under the guidance of traditional leader Ama Nune Benu (d. 2005), the people of Boti lived a subsistence lifestyle and resisted outside influence with patience and determination. The locals that continue to uphold Boti`s traditional ways wear all handspun, handmade traditional dress: tubular tais skirts for women and beti hip cloths for men. The villagers set aside every ninth day for rest and reflection. On this day, the community gathers in the royal compound, called the tae matani, where the men talk, carve betel nut containers from cow bone or horn, and weave palm-fiber kalai bags,and the women spin cotton into thread.

  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Tae Matani Weavers` Cooperative
  • Boti village, West Timor
  • Warp-faced plain weave, supplementary warps
  • Handspun cotton, natural dyes
  • 43 x 182 cm. (17 x 71.5 in)
  • Code # T.TM.TM.024

 

Po`uk


T.TM.AR.046-Large

The more slowly the red dye dries, the stronger the final color.

The more slowly the red dye dries, the stronger the final color.

Baun village was once the seat of a traditional kingdom, which ruled over the Amarasi plain in southern West Timor. Weaver Getreda Obehetan embellished this cloth with subtle accents in sotis, a floating warp technique common in the Amarasi region. The locals call this motif of interlocking hooks kaimanfafa.

Getreda Obehetan made her dyes from local forest plants. She extracted the red pigment from the crushed roots of the morinda tree. Morinda red binds to cotton only in the presence of a mixture of other plants and minerals called a mordant. Getreda`s particular mordant is the secret of the distinctive Amarasi red and yellow of thispo`uk. Many dye masters guard their mordant recipes carefully.

  • Shoulder Cloth
  • 2007
  • Tied, dyed, and woven by Getreda Obehetan
  • Baun village, West Timor
  • Warp ikat, supplementary warps
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 45 x 212 cm. (18 x 83.5 in)
  • Code # T.TM.AR.046