Fine Textiles by Julius
Savu Natural Dye Ikat Traditional Textile
Regular price $375.00
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This is a classic textile of Savu, (also spelled Sabu or Sawu). I recently visited this remote place and spent 3 days combing the villages in search of naturally dyed textiles like this. What defines this textile is the odd number of stripes which is required for it to be used in cultural ceremonies. Locally it is called a Hig'i Wo Pido. Which essentially means "Oddly striped three colored cloth" in Savunese. These are typically made with groups of either 7, 9 or 11 stripes and are highly symbolic. The long linear lines represent the continuity of generations and the importance of ancestors. The other three symbols represented are the Lontar palm which plays a critical role in the Savu economy, the zig-zag lies represent the roofs of the cultural houses (Rumah Adat). and the tighter diamond shapes depict the Worapi or diamond lozenge pattern representing masculinity. These all combine the essential elements of Savu life. These are typically worn by men during the action packed Savu cultural calendar. It is an elegantly colored two panel piece very typical of Savu weaving (but increasingly rare). Nearly all the weavers I visited preferred the ease of chemical dyes. Only a very few still produce the elegant natural colors of the traditional pieces like this. These are woven in various villages scattered around the island of Savu. The only way to get them is to drive a long way down a hot bumpy road after taking a 8 seat airplane from Kupang which flies 3x a week. This place is fantastic and this textile is the real deal. This piece came from the tiny village of Rai Pedero in the Mehara district on the South West end of Savu. This piece is a single-panel and was woven by Mariana Hina who is pictured in the listing, she is a sweet and shy lady who only speaks Savunese. She understands Bahasa Indonesia but could only reply in Savunese. She had two pieces when I visited her house and she seemed too shy to ask for a proper price. I ended up paying here 150% of her asking price because it was the right thing to do