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Ceremonial cloth (2012)

  • Woven, batiked and dyed by Lilis
  • Batik tulis, commercial cotton, mud dyes
  • 54 x 340 cm (21 x 134 inches)
  • Code # T02.SW.BI.853

Master weaver Lilis is the few women among the Karutaun people who is still making the sarita textile using this batik method. She is a descendent of a lineage of women who were given the gift to make this type of textile
A Sarita is a wax resist textile used by the Toraja Karataun people of Batuisi and Saluleke in the western mountain range of Toraja as a ceremonial decoration. The black color comes from mud dyes. This cloth depicts the tale of the ancestral hero Kapunan Poki, who is symbolized here as a crocodile and whose shortened tail symbolizes injuries sustained fighting many battles for his people. In mythology, he was last seen at Minanang where two rivers join and it is only the people of this area that are allowed to tell this story. The story was first recorded on cloth when a child sleeping in the forest with his parents urinated on a white blanket. When the blanket dried in the morning the motifs emerged.