On the western slopes of the Toraja highlands in Central Sulawesi live the To Mangki Karataun people. Young women from this ethnic group will create two textiles simultaneously: tying patterns onto threads, dyeing the threads, then weaving them into cloth. Pieces made with this method can take up to 2 months to complete and the income from their sale can substantially help the young women weaver’s family.
This textile's primary motif, known as tumba-tumba, symbolizes a spearhead or sharp point. Spears, axes and other means of carving out a livelihood would often be used in the gift exchange during a wedding.
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.
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, 2021. Size 190 x 21 cm / 75 x 8.5 in
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