165.0 x 56.0 cm one side of tube; 165.0 x 112.0 cm overall tube
Today the women of Biboki, West Timor, continue to weave, spin and dye cloth for daily and ritual wear. Skirtcloths, known as 'tais', are woven by women on traditional backstrap looms in intricate designs which reflect the status of the wearer. A textile like this one would be worn by women for important ceremonies such as marriages or the consecration of a traditional house. It was dyed and woven by Paulina Hati, a member of the non-profit Sangger Biboki Weavers’ Cooperative of West Timor which was begun in about 1989 and comprises hundreds of members in different villages (Pauline’s village is Sapaen). The textile, naturally dyed apart from the synthetically dyed commercial threads on the bottom section (called the 'buna') was commissioned by ‘Threads of Life’, a body supporting the revival of the most complicated expressions of the weaver’s art, as well as natural dye research.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2006
William Ingram, Threads of life: Sustaining the textile arts of Indonesia, Bali, 2002.
Symbols and Ceremonies: Indonesian Textile Traditions, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 2006–28 May 2006