Browse our Timor basket catalog (7)
by clicking thumbnails below
Ok Tute
Oko Mama
Koro Mama
Oko Taka
Oko Sripi
Oko Mama Makolo
Ok Tute
Sireh Leaf Baskets (2005)
  • Woven by Aplonia Talan
  • Benlutu village, West Timor
  • Lontar palm leaf, cotton, beads
  • Height 10.5 cm. (4 in)
  • Code # C.BS.BN.002

Colorful Timorese traditional dress, Benlutu, West Timor
Many Timorese regularly chew betel nut quid, a combination of local plants and powdered lime that produces a mild intoxication--and a mass of red saliva. These lontar leaf ok tute cylinders were made to hold sireh leaves (Piper betle), one ingredient in the betel quid. Timorese men tie ok tute to their belts, and carry the other betel quid ingredients in a shoulder bag--peppery sireh flower spikes, nuts from the pinang palm (Areca catechu), and lime powder. Some craftspeople decorate ok tute with beads, and others with sotis, a fabric woven with colorful supplementary warps.

The peoples of eastern Indonesia use every part of the tall, slender lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer). Sweet lontar sap is a primary food source in Savu and Roti, especially during the long dry season. Young, un-opened lontar leaves are cut into fine strips and woven into baskets, hats or bags. Older leaves are plaited into large mats for roofing or floor coverings.