Hinggi

Hinggi are designed as two parts that are joined in the center with an almost invisible seam. They are worn in identical pairs during a man’s lifetime, folded over the shoulder and wrapped about the hips. Individual design elements perform practical functions, the qualities associated with each motif augmenting the wearer’s personal power during life and aiding his journey to the next world after death. Motifs are usually arranged in three to five bands of varying width. The design traditionally announced a man’s social status.

Lau

The lau is the general term for a traditional tubular textile worn by Sumbanese women for ceremonial occasions. It is turned down an appropriate length and worn either skirt-like as a sarong, or as a dress covering the breasts with the top of the tube simply gathered and held in place with the left arm pit. Individual design elements perform practical functions, the qualities associated with each motif augmenting the wearer’s personal power during life and aiding his journey to the next world after death. 

Lau 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. Marapu is the animistic religion of the people of Sumba.

Lau Heamba Pahudu Hada

Lau heamba pahudu hada is a woman’s tubular sarong with ikat technique and supplementary warp patterning and beaded decoration in one section of the two panel textile. The tapestry-like supplementary motif is created during the weaving process whereas the antique beads are added once the pieces making up the tubular sarong have been sewn together. 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.

Lau Pahudu

Lau pahudu refers to a tubular sarong with supplementary warp patterning in only the bottom section of the two panels. Ikat may also appear in such a textile. The tapestry-like supplementary motif is created during the weaving process. In the kingdom of Pau women refer to this textile as a lau pahudu kiku – kiku refers to foot or lower section of the textile. 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.

Lau Paka Komba

This unusual sarong was inspired by the collection of the last great king of Pau, Umbu Windi Tananangungiu who was Tamu Rambu Hamueti’s father. After his death the entire collection was sold off leaving nothing to continue to be used as models for new textiles. Many years later, Tamu Rambu Hamu Eti met with the buyer living in Bali who had photographs of many of the pieces in the collection. He promised to make copies for Tamu Rambu Hamu Eti but unfortunately there was a flood and the photographs were destroyed. Now the textiles only remain in Eti’s memory. She made this textile from her memory designing and beading the band of frogs herself and working with the dyers to create the gradation of blue.

Lau Heamba Pahudu

Lau heamba 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. Colors 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.

Lau Heamba Pahudu Utu Kawadak

Lau heamba pahudu utu kawadak refers to a tubular ikat sarong with ikat and supplementary warp patterning in one sections as well as silver ornamentation sewn on. 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.

Lau Humba

Lau humba refers to a two-part tubular textile worn by women for daily use in Hama Parengu and within the Kanatang cultural group, which is known for it’s textiles using natural indigo dye practices with additional coloured sections. In the past this textile would have been decorated with an embroidered motif of dragon, horses, or birds on the bottom panel. It would then be referred to as a lau pakambuli and worn for special occassions. The village of Hama Parengu maintains it’s animistic ties to the Marapu beliefs – still following the traditional ways of caring for the land and maintaining strong social ties.

Lau Pakapihak Ningu Njering

Lau pakapihak ningu njering is a two-panel textile sewn into a tube and worn as a woman’s sarong. The cloth may use a mud dye technique using mud as well as several types of plants such as leaves of pahawuru (Phyllanthus sp.) and bark of pamohu, which is found in mangrove areas. The fringes on the motif are made by adding extra threads that are sewn to create a motif. The technique of making the motif fringe is called ningu njering. The textile was used as an everyday dress by Sumbanese women, especially in Hama Parengu during earlier times.

Teara

Teara is a man’s single panel head cloth, used for both everyday use and ceremonies. Women also use it as a shoulder cloth for ceremonies.

Teara Haringgi

Teara haringgi is a shoulder cloth worn by Sumbanese women to complete their traditional dress. It can also be worn by women and men as a narrow head cloth.

Teara Hinggi Duku / Tiara Duku

Teara hinggi duku is a one panel cloth worn over the shoulder of a high ranking person along with a hip cloth (hinggi) tyed around the waist. Individual design elements perform practical functions, the qualities associated with each motif augmenting the wearer’s personal power during life and aiding his journey to the next world after death. Motifs are usually arranged in three to five bands of varying width. The design traditionally announced a man’s social status.

Tiara Duku is a one panel cloth worn over the shoulder of a high ranking person. Individual design elements perform practical functions, the qualities associated with each motif augmenting the wearer’s personal power during life and aiding his journey to the next world after death. Motifs are usually arranged in three to five bands of varying width. The design traditionally announced a man’s social status.

Tera Hita Langga

Tera hita langga is a single-panel man’s head cloth. This textile is always a deep blue black colour with small strips made using pahitang floating warp patterning and is worn by the traditional priest (wunang) or elder man of a particular status. Tera hita langga is usually worn with rau kadama.

Rau Kadama

Rau kadama is a single panel that is used as a waist wrap by a priest (wunang) or elder male in Hama Parengu in East Sumba. This dress is worn with the tera hita langga head cloth. The rau kadama textile is dyed to a deep blue black and has faint light blue horizontal stripes. Kadama is a reference to a flowering plant that is spoken of in stories and songs. The village of Hama Parengu maintains it’s animistic ties to the Marapu beliefs – still following the traditional ways of caring for the land and maintaining strong social ties. Hama Parengu is part of the Kanatang cultural group that is well known for it’s textiles using natural indigo dye practices.

Tambakuku Utu Kambar

Tambakuku utu kambar is used as a ceremonial funeral wrapping for a woman. Tambakuku means shroud and kambar means beads. This textile is the final textile used in wrapping the deceased member of a royal family who still follow the traditional beliefs of the Marapu tradition. The body is tied into the fetal position and then wrapped in many textiles – up to a hundred depending on the status of the woman. This tambakuku utu kambar is the final wrapping that encases the entire body including the head and only leaving the face uncovered.

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