Mau NaekMan's Hip Cloth
In Timor, textiles are used for almost all rituals: they are among the principle gifts made by the bride’s family during marriage rites, they enshroud the dead, and they function as important ritual objects in rites as varied as roof raising and rice planting ceremonies. Traditionally bright and colorful, Timorese textiles have long been made with chemical dyes. The community of weavers, Nek Mese, are now dyeing all of their own threads with natural dyes.
This man’s hip cloth called a Mau Naek, has a center panel containing a black ikat motif made with mud and tanin dyes. The elements of this textile incorporate the ikat motif Fut Nafe which means butterfly. Local people interpret it as “wherever you go there I am”. This is a reference to identification with the ancestors. After a funeral ceremony many communities bring a textile to a high mountain or hill to catch a butterfly or fly which is considered a symbol of the ancestor.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Warp ikat, three panels stitched together with twined border and fringe, commercial cotton, natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed and woven in Timor, 2009.
207 x 95 cm / 81.5 x 37.5 in