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Hi`i Wo Tallu
Hi`i Wo Tallu
Shoulder Cloth (2007)
  • Tied and woven by Luhi Bara
  • Dyed by Kelompok Hawu Miha
  • Nadawawi village, Savu
  • Warp ikat
  • Cotton, natural dyes
  • 43 x 153 cm. (17 x 60 in)
  • Code # T.SB.HM.033

Ice Tede Dara winding thread, Savu
The name of this textile, hi`i wo tallu, refers to the strings of flowers that run its length. Shoulder cloths are part of men`s ceremonial dress on Savu, a small island to the west of Timor. The Savunese people follow a traditional lunar calendar, which is packed with ceremonies for the local religion, called jingi tiu. These rituals are overseen by a small group of priests called mone ama, each of whom ministers to a particular aspect of the divine world. One, the deo rai, is the priest of the earth. Another, the apu lodo, is considered a descendent of the sun and oversees the annual lontar palm tree tapping season. The sweet, milky sap of the drought resistant lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer) is a major crop on dry, rocky Savu. Tappers collect the sap in bamboo cups or lontar leaf baskets, and drink it fresh or boil it down into nutritious red-brown sugar.