Ei WorapiWoman's Sarong
The culture of Savu and Rai Jua places great weight on ancestry, birthplace, and community life. The local traditional religion, Jingi Tiu, requires all villagers to participate in rituals and ceremonies. Savunese ceremonial dress for women falls into three main categories ei raja, ei ledo and ei worapi.
The third category, to which this piece belongs, is called ei worapi. These two part textile combine elements of both ei raja and ei ledo. The motifs of ei worapi can be changed or invented at will, and may be dyed in three colors instead of two. The ikat bands near the head and foot render ei worapi ritually neutral.
The ei worapi may have been invented with the arrival of Christianity; it places all women on equal footing. The ikat motif on this cloth is called Bunga Lehu refers to the motif that was found on old batik head scarves. Before batiks were introduced to Savu, the men wrapped their heads in white woven cloth.
Warp ikat, two panels stitched together and sewn as a tube, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed and woven by Tobo Mehe in Sabu, 2016.
166 x 62 cm / 65.5 x 24.5 in
Textiles and Their Culture: Adonara Island | Bali Island | Flores Island | Java Island | Kalimantan Island | Lembata Island | Savu & Rai Jua Islands | Sulawesi Island | Sumba Island | Timor Island
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