Sumba Wise AncestorLau Witikau
Traditionally Lau Witikau was made by royal mothers for their daughters prior to marriage for inclusion in the bride’s trousseau. Thereafter used as gifts between families at times of weddings or funerals, the ultimate use of a Lau Witikau would be as the outermost textile used to wrap the upper part of the body of a deceased royal.
The beaded motif depicts a Marapu ancestral spirit – merapu is the animistic religion of the people of Sumba. The human-like motif is called marapu or ancestor. The broad ears and big eyes meaning everything is heard, and seen. The ancestor is always with us to protect and guide our way.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Plain weave, two panels stitched together and sewn as a tube, stitched on panel, handspun cotton, stitched beads and shells, natural dyes. Motif made, dyed, and woven in Rende, East Sumba, 2018.
110 x 68 cm / 43.5 x 27 in