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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
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Location: Beijing
Just got back from a VERY interesting trip to Flores, lots of weaving and good textiles, very encouraging. Charming people too. I will send some travel notes to Pamela soon, and hope they will encourage others to visit.

To begin with I have a couple of beaded sarongs to post here. The first is an old example which is said to have come from Hewokloang village, near Maumere. The seller, who was local and from the area described it as follows:

"Sarong breke, worn by a (village) chief for divination ceremonies that were conducted occasionally, once every few years, for example before rice planting in cases where fields were not yielding as much rice hoped. The chief wears the sarong and stands in front of a ceremonial stone and knife and prays to the sun and mother earth. He delivers predictions about the future while in a trance. The motif on the top panel is the sun, and on the bottom an octopus (gurita)"

The sarong is made of handspun cotton, dyed with indigo. The beads are old glass trade beads, with cowrie shells. There is a detail of a similar(?) sarong said to be made by Sikka people in Flores in "Textiles of Southeast Asia" by Robyn Maxwell, on pages 140-141. That example seems to have been photographed in the field and has similar motifs. I have not been able to find other references to sarongs of this type by Sikka people, so far.

The second beaded sarong is a new "lawo butu", made by Katharina Paba from Bajawa area, for Threads of Life Gallery in Ubud, Bali (which is where I bought it). This type of sarong is quite well documented and is mentioned in Robyn Maxwell's book as well as in "Gift of the Cotton Maiden" by Roy Hamilton. Threads of Life have helped to revive their production in a small way in recent years and I am grateful to them and thrilled to own this weaving. There is more information on their website:
http://www.threadsoflife.com/product.asp?id=florestextile

I am interested to know if forum members have other examples of beaded sarongs "in captivity". As mentioned, I think the Bajawa lawo butu are quite well understood, but the sarongs of this kind made by other groups are less well documented.


Attachments:
File comment: Sarong breke from Hewokloang village, Flores (Sikka people). Handspun cotton, indigo, old trade beads and cowrie shells
KT9-1a.jpg
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File comment: reverse side of Hewokloang beaded sarong
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KT9-2a.jpg [ 73.3 KiB | Viewed 8991 times ]
File comment: detail of beaded "octopus"
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KT9-4a.jpg [ 136.48 KiB | Viewed 8991 times ]
File comment: Lawo butu (ceremonial sarong), new example made by Katharina Paba from the Bajawa area of Flores, traditionally worn by a high ranking woman at ceremonies such as raising the roof of a new house in the village. Made in 2009-10. Commercial cotton, indigo a
KT35-1a.jpg
KT35-1a.jpg [ 240.91 KiB | Viewed 8991 times ]
File comment: detail of boat (kowa), said to represent the boat that ancestors migrated to Flores in from regions to the west
KT35-2a.jpg
KT35-2a.jpg [ 93.49 KiB | Viewed 8991 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:18 am 
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I have loaded up the new travel notes on Eastern Flores and Lembata based on Chris' trip, notes and excellent photos. See:
http://www.tribaltextiles.info/articles ... notes.html As Chris says, these should also be read with the notes sent in by Donna Lum back in 2005:
http://www.tribaltextiles.info/articles ... _notes.htm

Please forgive the double posting but I am also going to put this info on the Travel section of the forum.

My grateful thanks to Chris (and Donna) for taking the trouble to compile and send in their travel notes from their trips so that all of us can benefit.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject: trip to Flores etc
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:09 am 
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What an absolutely lovely post. Makes me feel like buying a plane ticket immediately and raiding my bank account.

The pictures are luscious, the textual part very informative and the whole presented in a terribly compelling fashion. It was the combined effort of a talented group. Thank you to you all.

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Sandra Niessen

www.bataktextiles.com
http://bataktextiles.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:21 am 
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Location: Bali, Indonesia
HI Chris: Nice travelogue. Wish I had put the thoughtful commentary in my 'logue. At the time I wrote it I wasn't thinking anyone would actually be reading it! hehe.

As for the beaded sarongs, to answer your question about seeing these, yes, these types of sarongs are readily found in Flores and are commonly for sale by traders. Great photos though.

Also, about your problems finding ikat in Lembata, and around Ili Api, in the weaving villages there were many women weaving homespun, natural dyed ikat and lurik stripes and many many pieces for sale. It's sad that perhaps it has lessened in the few years since I was there...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:39 am 
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thanks for the replies, Sandra and Donna!

big thanks also to Pamela for putting this material up on the site, I have a suspicion that this took more work than it did for me to type the text and send the photos.

If it makes Sandra feel like going then that's good, collectors have a role to play in keeping the traditions alive and everyone I met was delighted to see visitors!

Chris

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 Post subject: Samatra Sarong
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:17 pm 
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Very interesting, Chris.

I have a beaded sarong from Sumatra that I bought there in the late 1980s - supposedly an 80 year old wedding skirt. Small white beads in a pattern. I have no idea from where in Sumatra and I've never seen one like it documented.

Maybe this will motivate me to photograph and post it.

Interesting that, after all these years, Flores still has old textiles.

Anna

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