Young women from this remote area of Sulawesi will create two of these textiles at the same time, tying the pattern onto threads, dyeing the threads and then weaving this into cloth. It will take up to 2 months to complete the work and the income she receives for this is substantial to help her family.
On the western slopes of the Torajan highlands, the To Mangki Karataun people live in virtual isolation; during the rainy season, their villages are inaccessible for months at a time. In the mythic past the great ancestor descended from heaven to give Karataun weavers four basic motifs known as ba’ba de’ata, the ikat of the divine.
The motif on this textile is called tobo sepu. Tobo means carving and sepu refers to the betelnut bag carried by women that contains the lime, betelnut and sirih leaf for chewing betel. It is polite to always have betelnut offered between both the host and visitor. The tobo sepu motif is also found on the walls of the traditional rice barn.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth. Warp ikat, single panel, twisted fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed, woven in Karataun, Sulawesi, 2016. Size 202 x 18 cm / 79.5 x 7 in
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