Man's Ceremonial Betelnut Bag
A Timorese man’s traditional dress is not complete without a betelnut bag slung over his shoulder. A sarek barek traditionally contained a number of useful accessories to carry him through the day: a koro nisif toothbrush made from pig bristles wound together with thread, a carved bone takos nisif toothpick and sasunu ao spoon, and a ao bamboo container to carry slaked lime for chewing betelnut.
This practical yet elegant bag was made by the weaver for her husband using handspun cotton. The sides of the bag are stitched together with crisscrossing white threads, and along the bottom runs a simple red and white supplementary weft patterning known locally as mamona. The deep, dark indigo colour of the bag is characteristic of textiles throughout Timor.
Plain weave, single panel, supplementary warp-wrap patterning, twined fringe, handspun cotton, natural dyes.
Made in Malaka, Timor, 2008.
75 x 30 cm / 30 x 12 in
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