Petak Haren Nai TeloCeremonial Cloth
Atadei is located on the south coast of Lembata. The textiles from here are very similar in structure to the Lamalera textiles but with different motifs used. This three-part tubular textile with uncut warp threads is essential to the gifts that accompany marriage. Textiles offered to the groom’s family by the bride’s clan are exchanged for elephant tusks which are held by clans dating back to about the 16th century.
The warp threads remain uncut symbolizing the bond and commitment to the community. These textiles are never worn. Many motifs reflect daily life. As many of the people of Atadei make their living from the sea, many motifs are of boats and types of fish; such as manta ray, sun fish and sharks. The small motifs on the head and foot of this cloth are manta rays and the central design was told to us as being manata rays as well.
The patterns of the centerfield are also very much like the Lamalera patola -style motif that appears on the kwatek nai telo. The textile in colour and style would appear to be from Lamalera, the woman who made this cloth is from Atadei where the textiles are slightly different but has relations from Lamalera.
Warp ikat, three panels stitched together to create length with uncut warp ends, handspun cotton, natural dyes.
Made in Atadei, Lembata, c.1980.
205 x 68 cm / 81 x 27 in