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Ceremonial Shoulder Cloth (2006)
  • Tied by Jamia Daud
  • Dyed by Ita Yusuf and Bou Sama Sama
  • Woven by Afrida Dua Nina
  • Onelako village, Flores
  • Warp ikat
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 65 x 188 cm. (25.5 x 74 in)
  • Code # T.FL.BS.132

Threads drying in the sun, Onelako, Flores
Men in Ndona, near Ende in central Flores, wear shoulder cloths like this senai to festivals and ceremonies. The motif on this senai is called mata rote. Mata simply means motif; rote is a large forest vine, which the locals make into rope. In Ndona, they say that the gods climb between the earth and the spirit world on a ladder made of rote vines.

The Onelako village weavers who produced this piece belong to a cooperative called Bou Sama Sama, or ``gathering together.`` Many members of Bou Sama Sama specialize in one task or another area--becoming tyers, dyers, or weavers--and the textiles they produce are collaborative efforts. The group`s dyers colored and re-colored the threads in this senai for weeks to produce deep and varied shades of red.