Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Traditional Sikka Fabric Villages

For lovers of fabric, weaving is one of the mandatory list for the collection, because countless exclusive and not mainstream. Moreover, lately some renowned designers also begin to look woven.

Proud, Indonesia is a country that was awarded motif woven fabric which is very rich, stretching from Sabang to Merauke. And, if we're talking about producing quality woven fabrics, Flores is included in the seed list. I went through the 5 villages scattered across Flores to admire the wealth of motifs fabric.

Ende, a city located in the coastal region, exactly located in the central part of the island of Flores, between Labuan Bajo and Maumere. The city counted not too crowded, the highway is still not very solid, no big mall, just one or two minimarket and shops that provide grocery items.

Although accounting for a small town, Ende save diversity. From the front of my hotel stay which is located near the airport H. Hasan Aroeboesman, are views of Table Mountain which, although not active volcano, looking mighty and amazing. Legend of the mountain was confirmed the character of most of the people Ende that upholds pluralism and respect for others.

Eight kilometers east of the town of Ende, with a trip of about 20 minutes, there is a village or a village named Onelako, Ndona. The village is inhabited flat area covered with coconut trees, coffee plants and cacao. Not surprisingly, though, including coastal areas, the air is still cool and beautiful. Especially in this village there are springs Wolowona. The location is not too far from the city, allowing the village is inhabited by citizens of various races, ethnicities, and religions. This causes the plurality motif woven fabric produced is also richer and diverse.

Onelako village is an area of ​​traditional weaving centers of the group who still retain the use of natural dyes. I was greeted spousal Mr. Jilani and Ms. Tia with a friendly in their homes. My eyes immediately widened in awe as Mrs. Tia pulled out some strands of fabric weaving handiwork. Very beautiful! The fabrics were dominated by brown and brick red with black base material. This is the color that is characteristic of the village Onelako and Ende City in general.

Another distinctive feature, the use of only one type of motif in the middle of the fabric. Mrs. Tia explains names tenunnya motifs, among others: prison nggaja (horses and elephants), Sinde cobra, eye pea, rajo eye, eye ria (breadfruit leaf), and Karara (breadfruit). Breadfruit is synonymous with the community as Ende. In fact, the country's founder, Sukarno, find the idea of ​​principles of Pancasila in the middle of brooding under a breadfruit tree that branched five.

The trip to the village of Wolotopo an incredible experience, because the beautiful expanse of landscape collaboration between rocky cliffs, trees and ledges Nanganesa Beach. I met with two German tourists who deliberately walk a distance of about 5 kilometers. According to them, on foot, they will not lose a second's dazzling moment of it.

The village is an area of ​​the megalithic traditional village located in the hills, so to get there I had to pass through a path uphill. As he climbed the stairs, my reply to the greeting local residents who occupy the houses of solid and mutually coincident.
When the foot is finally completed its foothold in the last step, then came to me right in front of traditional house Wolotopo. Wow, the view from the top was beautiful locations all! In front of me, looking custom homes overlooking held a ceremonial altar and worship the ancestors. Interestingly, traditional houses built on the edge of a cliff which consists of a high pile of rocks and sturdiness.
I met three women, one of the occupants of custom home when it was renovated. They invited talk on the terrace while explaining what the meaning of the symbols and carvings in their homes. One of them, carving the breast attached to the outside wall near the door. Apparently, small breasts symbolize unmarried women, while breast which symbolizes long married woman. For citizens Wolotopo a mother breast is considered as the source of life and a symbol of fertility.

Natural conditions dry and challenging dominant around the village Wolotopo form a community being personally very persistent and unyielding. Evidently, they are known as the largest producer of yam in the region Ende.
Another thing that most stands out, this village is the center of producing weaving. Particularities motif woven cloth in the village tend to be small Wolotopo and abstract. While, judging from the color, the golden yellow seems to characterize them. Perhaps because of their ancestral beliefs, Lio tribe, which considers that the golden yellow color symbolizes fortune.

Overland trip from Ende to Bajawa, capital of Ngada, Flores, takes about 4 hours. Passing through the winding streets that are not too wide to the left and right side of the ravine.
Padang plate of rice, a cup of coffee Bajawa plus jackets and blankets were wrapped around the body, unable to withstand the cold air that infiltrates into the pores of my skin. Enough to make an answer, why in the streets before I saw some locals wear thick clothing.

Bajawa cold air makes me difficult to sleep all night. As a result, at 9 o'clock in the morning I just woke up and prepared to go to the village of Bena. Not too much, because it only takes about a half hour drive. As there are no words to describe the admiration I see the landscape is almost perfect. The township was impressed shady and peaceful surrounded by large trees and as diayomi by Mount Inerie towering, sturdy, at once imperious.

In front of me exactly, lay building traditional houses whose architecture looks uniform and lined up facing each other. A row of houses on the left and right sides are separated by a large field where megalithic stones arranged simple. That's where the location of the tomb of ancestors as well as a ceremonial site Bena village residents.

Each element in this village really interesting to watch. Buffalo horns, boar tusks, carvings, paintings and all ornaments mounted in wooden houses roofed with thatch it certainly implies symbols and important values. I went to a grandmother who is enjoying betel nut on the porch. From her, I learned that just last night held a traditional ceremony because one of their relatives who died there.
No wonder, invisible single woman who was weaving on the porch. Indeed, if the bereaved, the traditional rules do not allow its citizens activity. In fact, weave a job they usually do on the front porch.

I just saw some of the crafts of weaving are on display on the porch a few houses. At first glance, I noticed woven in this village motives tend to be simple, there are images of traditional houses and a horse in the middle of horizontal lines. In addition, the color is more bright and colorful.
Traditional villages, which are located exactly at the foot of Flores were in fact present a natural charm and culture as well. On the slopes of the mountain, looked lush green coffee plantations.

While a traditional house roofed with reeds in the village, as a witness how hard the life of its citizens to be passed along. I met a grandmother who was busy weaving a pattern of lines or striated, fabrics for men. However, because the grandmother was only able to talk to wear the local language, it is not long before I took his leave and returned to the village of Moni.

Day was already daylight at the time, I was getting ready to continue the journey to the village of Jopu. The journey to get there makes me want to jump out of the car and immediately picking vegetables. Because, that's the view of the time that I met, plantations carrots, corn, and potatoes are spread widely around the region.

About 10 minutes is not far from the plantation of vegetables, my eyes locked as by a variety of woven fabric on display in a house located in Nuamuri, Village Mbuli Lo'o. At that time also I immediately canceled a scheduled visit to the village of Jopu and choose to spend time in the house.
Mama Mathilda, the owner of the house, explained, the village is known as a producer of carrots and potatoes, as well of course as weaving village. So, in this village we can find many artists who still keep the tradition of weaving, inherited from ancestors. We can buy ikat directly to their homes.
Perhaps because of the location Mbuli Lo'o village located at the cross roads between the two major districts Flores, Ende and Maumere, then ikat produced is also more diverse, both in motifs, decorative, and color.

For example, the eye motif that if the prison in Ndona, Ende, thick brown color, then in this village motif was thick with dark red color. While, there are also some motive thicker wear golden yellow color that characterizes the village Wolotopo. Mawarani motif that characterizes the village of Sikka, also available in the village. But maybe, that's the unique weaving of this Lo'o Mbuli village, can absorb motif, decoration and color of every race and ethnicity.

Sikka village can be reached from the center of the town of Maumere takes about 1.5 hours. It is rather far away. But Flores stunning natural charm will accompany all the way. Ranging from brown green gardens, palm trees swaying, and the weeds are golden yellow in the dry season.
The coastal scenery is equally stunning. The water is bluish green, the pounding of the waves are a bit tight, rocks, sand and black enough to satisfy the eye. Residents here named the beach was named the South Coast. A fishing village, I stopped for a while to chat and take part in harvesting the fish with the fishermen who had just landed. In fact, I was treated to boiled potatoes and fried fish their cuisine. Exciting!

Fishing is indeed a major work of adult males in the village. Given the waves are pretty hard, would need stamina and fishing techniques are above average. No wonder that their ancestors later famous as a tough sailor. They just go to farms, if the season is being unfriendly or when the middle of the agricultural harvest season.

While adult women, in addition to farming, they spend more time to take care of the household and weaving. Almost all the houses along the main street had weaving equipment. Some foreign tourists, especially from the Portuguese, already often buy from them.

Apparently, between Sikka and Portuguese indeed established a special bond. History records, Sikka was once the center of the Portuguese settlement. In fact, in this village there is an old church built in 1899, which until now every once a month to worship using the Portuguese language.

It is undeniable that the woven Sikka village has an image of high art. Mama Margaret Alexa, I got a lot of explanation about the motives of woven fabric that became the mainstay of the village of Sikka. Figure fishermen, boats, turtles, crabs, became his trademark. For example, rembyang motif (storage of groceries on board) or motif okokirea (canoe / boat). Meanwhile, the motif of the most in demand by today's buyers are mawarani (Morning Star). This motif was once commonly worn by the daughter of the Kingdom of Sikka. Meanwhile, if talk of color, use a dark blue color in a piece of woven fabric is characteristic of this village.

In the village of Sikka, I also took time to watch the process of making woven cloth that was demonstrated by the mama-mama weavers using traditional equipment. Starting from separating cotton from seeds, binding motif, coloring, until the final stage, ie weaving.

Seeing the many steps that must be passed in order to produce a piece of woven clothing with high art, certainly requires patience and remarkable persistence. Not to mention during weaving, weaving craftsman needs to unite a movement of his hands with heart and mind, along with the traditional equipment that is wrapped around the waist. They work from morning to evening, for months, even two or three years. The high price that we pay for the sake of a piece of woven cloth, it was worth the perseverance and patience of the weavers that.

• Both Ende, Bajawa, or Maumere already has an airport which can be reached from several cities in Indonesia.
• To go Bajawa and Moni village, can be reached by land. Able to rent a car or take a shuttle bus. The distance of the city to the average taken for 4-5 hours.
• Special to the village Pemo, preferably using two-wheeled transportation, given its narrow, steep, and less good.
• If you've visited, but do not buy any piece of cloth, it would be more comfortable if we give money donations.
• If buying a cloth with a particular motif, it would be unwise to ask the meaning of the motive and the rules that apply. Because, there are motifs that if subjected to a girl, then he will be difficult to get a mate.

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