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Ti`i Langga
Ti`i Langga
Traditional Hat (2006)
  • Roti
  • Lontar palm leaf
  • Height 39 cm. (15 in)
  • Code # C.BS.RT.001

Weaving strips of lontar
leaf, Savu
Sculptural Topi Ti`i Langga Raja hats are still worn as part of the traditional dress of the Rotinese people, who weave them from the young leaves of the lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer). Their designs echo the hats and helmets worn by Portuguese sailors, who began visiting Roti in the 16th century. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to attempt to control the spice trade through colonization, and they established permanent bases throughout the archipelago; Malacca on the Malay Peninsula, Makassar in Sulawesi, and Dili in East Timor were major centers of Portuguese power. Roti is a close neighbor of Timor, and although it was not a spice trade destination, it fell within the Portuguese sphere of influence. To this day, the Portuguese legacy in the southeastern islands of Indonesia remains strong.