- THE WEAVING (IKAT TEXTILES)
- Women throughout East Nusa
Tenggara still hand-weaver their textiles using natural dyes
and hand-spun cotton known as ikat weaving. Ikat means
to knot or bind. Pattern desired is bound onto the thread and
dyed before weaving. In Flores the textiles is normally sewn
together to form a tube known as a sarong that serve many practical
- Every districts in East Nusa
Tenggara has its own patterns and designs. Special motifs will
be created or the ceremonies such as grand weddings and funerals.
textiles are rustic in color. with abstract motifs of chickens,
mountains, and traditional houses. Some weaving areas are Pagal,
around Ruteng; Wolotopo and Nggela in Ende region, and.. Sikka
in Maumere region.
- Ikat textiles in Sumba are worked and exchange at
important ceremonies to show one's social status. At the funerals,
the most exquisite textiles would be placed in the grave for
use in the affer world.
- The west and east regions
in Sumba differ in design and color. Bold, bright designee showing
battles, livestocks or people are found in the east. Textiles
in the west tend to be more dense, abstract patterns, triangles,
for buffalo eyes and rectangle for horses tail.
Despite the great complexity
in the techniques used to produce it the textiles, specially
the highest quality ones, always play important roles in every
rites of Sumba such as Pasola.
- Taking up two years to complete,
the production of a full-sized Sumba cloth, is the preserve of
the female members of the different clan groups scattered throughout
the island. Throughout the production of textiles, women maintain
a tangible link with the mythology of the belief system (Marapu)
while achieving a high degree of economic autonomy within what
is essentially a patriarchal social order.
- The process is carried out
by the most experienced members of clan. The motifs are tied
from memory with clan women specializing in particular design.
- Rote, Savu, and Insana (Timor)
are also wellknown in the ikat textiles for their motifs. On
the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, such ikat textiles are an
inseparable part of people's culture and traditions. The shawl
on Sumba is called hinggi, and the sarong is called /au Pahudu
Kiku, with the motifs of horses and human beings.
- The horse represents the Sandal
Horses, and the human figure is a symbol of the worship of the
- In Timor, such shawl are called
tais. In Ngada they are called hoba, on Rote dula buna,
and on Sabu, they are called sigi wuri woteu kekama haba.
All these illustrates the diversity in beliefs and in the
ways of symbols, like of the people. Figures may become symbols,
and symbols become the names of island.
- In designing or drawing motifs,
the creator must never appear in personification, as that would
be sacrilege. Therefore, he is symbolized in familiar shapes,
such as stars, serpents, lizards, et cetera.
- Many mysteries of life are
captured in such cloths. which until this day remain cherished.
- The golden tree represents
the descent of Ana wula leja, the Son of Heavens who gives
life to plants and vegetables.
- The iguana represents faithfulness
to the ancestral traditions. By the way, the dress and motifs
which they wear, the educated observer can distinguish wheather
the we are belongs to the upper classes of the society or the
class to the commoners.
- It is not known when the arts
of ikat weaving was introduced to these islands or by whom. The
art is known even in the Tanimbar Islands of Maluku. It may be
that it was from there that the arts crossed into Timor and the
surrounding islands. Today, however, East Nusa Tenggara is the
undisputed center of the arts of ikat weaving in Indonesia.
- The process of spinning the
yarn and weaving are basically the same as that followed elsewhere.
So, is that of applying the dyes. In the old days, before yarn
were on sale in the markets, people owned cotton fields. Today
they still plants cotton that require thick yarns, which are
not sold in shops.
wheels and looms are in general the same throughout in this area.
Before it is woven, the yarn is colored with dye, prepared from
mengkudu, tarum, lobe, (kinds of plants) to produce respective
color as red, dark, and yellow.
- To strengthen the yarn, it
is boiled in water mixed with black sorghum seeds, burned coconut
sheathes, and Kemiri- candle nuts.
- The yarn then in dipped in
water then squeezed dry several times, until the color is dark
enough. Today some use chemical dyes.
- Weaving is as follows: the
yarn are tightened in bundles with young smoked coconut leaves.
Then they are dipped into the dye. If certain parts need extra
color, the bundles are untied. The parts to be left uncolored
are tied-up again. So, it continues until the colors are perfect.
- Weaving of textiles is a social
afair and several women in East Nusa Tenggara, especially those
living in villages, can still be found weaving on the back verandah
of their houses.
- Weaving can be seen or purchased
from these villages too.
Click here to see :
West Nusa Tenggara Map
East Nusa Tenggara Map
(There are 33 High Resolution Maps on here)
West Nusa Tenggara Tourism
East Nusa Tenggara Tourism
(There are complete info about 33 provincies : Object Tourisms, Hotels, Travel agents, etc)