Seashells and RoostersSumba Lau Hemba Pahudu
Lau hemba pahudu refers to a tubular sarong with supplementary warp patterning in both the upper and lower sections. Ikat may also appear in the textile. The tapestry-like supplementary motif is created during the weaving process. Textiles in Sumba have always functioned both as an indication of status and a means of ritual exchange.
Colours and motifs worn still denote an individual’s position in the island’s complex social hierarchy. This textile, combining these available decorative techniques, would mark its wearer as being of a high rank.
The karihu or shell ikat motif on this textile is a traditional design that would only be woven for royalty in the past. It is regarded as a powerful symbol for weavers as tells the story of the ancestor an eagle who flew across the oceans to find new land for its descendants. The complimentary motif is called kambiha njara which refers to the footprint of a horse. This motif usually appears on a woman’s sarong and the horse footprint designates wealth in ownership of livestock. The supplementary patterning contains manu walu or rooster. Roosters are symbolic of noble people as they are able to point out what is wrong. They are thought to have the ability to lead with wisdom.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Warp ikat , floating warp patterning, three panels stitched together and sewn as a tube, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed and woven in Sumba, 2019.
138 x 70 cm / 54.5 x 27.5 in