Sem BeklobeMan's Hip Cloth
The Helong ethnic group of Kupang,in West Timor were the original inhabitants of this area until the settlement of outsiders from Roti and Savu. In 2008 Thersia Alle Ngaing was in her 60s and one of the last Helong weavers when Threads of Life met her.
Today seven younger women continue the work of Theresia, making their own natural dyes and recovering the clan’s motifs. A sem beklobe is a man’s hipcloth, still important in the culture for use as gift exchanges at marriages and funerals.
The central motif on this textile is called ke ulan motif relates to a bird of prey seen before the rainy season starts – its song signifies a change in the season, kai dalen is a diamond-shaped pattern and symbolizes interconnectedness. and nian klehen is a coconut leaf. The coconut tree is very important to the people of Helong as it is used not only for food but as building material.
This textile is a lovely wall hanging or a throw on a bed or a couch.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Warp ikat, three panels stitched together, twisted fringe natural dyes. Ikat tied, dyed, woven in Timor, 2021.
240 x 110 cm / 94.5 x 43.5 in