FafutuMan's Ceremonial Belt
This decorative warp ikat textile fafutu is worn by dancers as part of ceremonial dress for ritual performances by weavers who are masters of the red dye technique taking months to reach the depth of color represented in their work. The rich red dye is made from the roots of a Morinda tree. The ends of this textile called fafutu drape down towards the feet of the dancer and the beads and bells add to the color and sound of the dance.
The name of the central ikat motif, Umek Po’at, refers to a snake in this case a python. Snakes are very significant in local belief systems throughout the archipelago. In Malaka this motif would refer to a woman who has the right to look after the traditional adat house in villages.
Warp ikat, single panel with braided fringe, handspun cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed and woven by Maria Un Lays in Timor, 2011.
233 x 27 cm / 91.5 x 10.5 in