The weaver of this fine scarf from the village of Supun in the central north of West Timor has used commercial thread and aniline dyes on a simple back strap loom to create this bold 3 colour ikat with Kaimnutu motif that tells of the weavers clan and totemic guardian spirits.
120cm long x 35cm wide.
51" long x 14" wide.
During the 1990s a collaboration between the Northern Territory Museum and the weavers of Biboke sought the sanction of the tribal leaders to allow some of the royal motifs to be created on certain textiles and made available for sale to the wider world.
Timorese Textiles are a tradition in their own right. Still woven on a simple back strap loom and used daily by the Atoni, no two weavings are the same as the weaver is not allowed to weave the same "story" twice. Motifs and construction vary from area to area often changing every 2-3km. Following centauries old tradition the weavers create these masterpieces using 3 very differing techniques. IKAT meaning to tie and denotes the pieces where the warp thread is tied off to produce the motif or pattern and dyed. LOTIS is supplementary weft weaving or 'float' weave where the weft threads are "pulled" through to create a "negative" image on the reverse side. In the elaborate BUNA pieces embroidery thread is wrapped into the weft during the weaving process to decorate the weaving. Commercial thread is smoother and thinner than handspun cotton. An amazing reference book has been compiled by Ruth Yeager and Mark Jacobson : Textiles of West Timor ISBN;974-4800-01-1 A worthy and worthwhile treatise for anyone interested in delving into the incredible wealth inherent in Timorese Textiles.