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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:37 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
Posts: 155
Location: Beijing
Forum members may like to know that my 6-page article on this topic appears in the current (Winter 2012) edition of Hali magazine:

This piece is part travelogue, part overview of traditional textiles from West Timor. This is an interesting region with lots of diverse cultural groups and weaving traditions, which gets fewer visitors than other parts of Indonesia (mainly due to the lack of palm-fringed beaches) but has plenty of reasons to visit for textile enthusiasts. It is illustrated with some nice textiles, the nicest of which do not belong to me unfortunately!

Weaving is still very much alive in West Timor, but the majority of work is done with commercial thread and dyes. Interest from collectors is playing a role in keeping natural dyeing alive in a few places however, and collectors have a role to play in keeping these skills going.

To whet your appetite, here are some photos of an old Biboki sarong (called a tais locally). This particular piece is not in the article, but has a lot of appeal for me for its simplicity and because it seems to me to represent the "classic" style of long, symmetric ceremonial sarongs with ikat decoration made in the far eastern islands in the Indonesian archipelago.

This article has no particular connection with my PLoS journal piece on Southeast Asian ikat that I posted a link to in this forum recently, and it is a much more straightforward read than the PLoS article. The data gathering for the PLoS study provided the "excuse" however (if one were needed) for the visits to West Timor.

My thanks also to Ben Evans and the Hali team for their beautiful layout and production in their magazine.


File comment: Sarong, handspun cotton and natural dyes, ikat panels outlined with narrow bands of commercial cotton. Woven in 4 panels and joined together. 56cm x 200cm. Biboki people, first half of the 20th century.
KT145-4.jpg [ 101.03 KiB | Viewed 4091 times ]
File comment: detail of ikat bands
KT145-4det.jpg [ 161.26 KiB | Viewed 4091 times ]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 20
Location: Sunshine Coast , Australia
Hi Chris and fellow forum members.
I am Julie based in Queensland Australia, previously in the Northern Territory back in the nineties when Kupang the provincial capital of West Timor was a one hour 20 minute flight from Darwin. I have been trading in textiles from the eastern end of Indonesia with a focus primarily in West Timor for the last 23 years. During this time I have had the pleasure of meeting and assisting Ruth Yeager and her husband Mark Jacobson with research for their book.

This is a small excerpt from my website (from this link you can jump into MY STORE or go on a journey through West Timor with me and my daughter Delphi. Look in weavings in categories for a taste of the textiles that I currently have on offer. This category is further broken down into regions and types. Full descriptions are offered and where possible the weavers name. It is not possible to display all the textiles that I have in my possession that are looking for good homes so feel free to contact me and lets unroll some Timorese textiles together)

Documentation of Timorese textiles

Of the notable texts produced over the last century on textiles, Ruth Yeager and Mark Jacobson's treatise on West Timorese textiles is the most recent and comprehensive. Originally published in black and white in 1995, the current edition (2002) is a colour plate version, entitled "Studies in Material Cultures of South-east Asia No. 2: Textiles of Western Timor, Regional Variations in Historical Perspective". ISBN 974-4800-01-1. It gives a fabulously in-depth look at the diverse range of motifs and construction in Timorese textiles, and how they fit into Timorese society.

Of East Timorese textiles there has been very little recorded, though I have seen some photographs in Portuguese books of the 1920s and 30s depicting colonial life in the East Indies.

Since I began trading and collecting Timorese textiles I have photographed and recorded details of every one of the 1600 cloths that have passed through my hands and many of ‘the ones that got away’. The result is a documentation of the huge range, variety and diversity within the cloths.

I enjoyed browsing your website Chris and appreciated your comments about no one person can identify all textiles origins.
Also that you have tasted the rich diversity of motifs, construction, colours and stories that West Timor has to offer.
I have had the pleasure of identifying a collection at MAGNT (Northern Territory Australia) so if you or anyone out there wants an ID on textiles from the Eastern end of Indonesia you are welcome to contact me.
Blessings Julie

File comment: A portion of a rare and delightful MIOMAFO from the TTU (Biboke) region of West Timor. Commercial thread and a combination of dyes skilfully combined to create this intricate Anthropomorphic ikat.
W1280b.jpg [ 155.16 KiB | Viewed 3899 times ]

Julie Emery
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