Supplementary patterns such as these are heirlooms handed down from grandmother to her grand daughter when she marries so that the traditional patterns will continue. The supplementary motif kara wulang, or turtle, symbolizes fertility, as turtles lay many eggs. The other motif is iyangu means a fish, which are often seen in large shoals or groups. Given that they appear in these large shoals, they are believed to represent fertility.
This cloth would traditionally worn over the shoulder by a woman or tied around the head by men as a traditional headdress. A headdress would have the fringe pointing upward while the hip cloth would be worn with the fringe downward – an acknowledgement of the realm of the ancestors and the spirits of the earth and we who live between these worlds.
The images included are examples of this supplementary technique called pahikung that weavers in Sumba like this young woman are weaving. Threads of Life works to sustain all traditional weaving and natural dye techniques made by generations gone before while maintaining healthy eco-systems.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth. Floating warp patterning, single panel, twisted fringe, commercial cotton and natural dyes. Dyed and woven in East Sumba, 2023. Size 162 x 29 cm / 64 x 11.5 in
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