The name for a woman's four-part sarong is utan wiri wanan and is used at a wedding for an ritual called Roa Muu. During this ritual, a young man, representing the man’s family, will dance around a banana tree where the Utan Wiri Wanan is hanging.
As he slowly circles and cuts down the tree, eventually he captures the sarong – this ritual symbolizes fertility. The nian nepa is a primary motif that can only be used on the wiri wanan textile from the cultural compound of Hewokloang. Nian nepa is a dragon or snake motif which is related to old stories about how the mythical snake called Nian Nepa who carried rice on her back as she traversed the landscape of Flores.
Rather than consisting of a single component or image, this motif is formed through a specifc combination of structural strips and smaller motifs. And though each of these structural strips and smaller sub-motifs may have their own name and meaning, it is only through their combination that a nian nepa is formed and can express cultural meaning.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth. Warp ikat, three panels stiched together and sewn as a tube, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed and woven in Sikka, Flores, 2015. Size 244 x 65 cm / 96 x 25.5 in
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