Between the Folds: Stories of Cloth, Lives, and Travels from by Jill Forshee

By Jill Forshee

Textiles have lengthy been critical to the social lifestyles and cosmology of the folks of East Sumba, Indonesia. In fresh many years, the Sumbanese have entered a bigger global economic system as their textiles have joined the commodity circulation of a global "ethnic arts" marketplace, prompted through Indonesia's vacationer alternate. As Sumba's villagers reply to an immensely improved trade of their textile, tensions and ironies emerge among historic and cutting edge varieties in either textile and lives. utilizing a story strategy, Jill Forshee takes readers into different lives, together with these of villagers touring to Bali and travelers vacationing Sumba, and follows their adventures alongside a variety of routes through the years. via own tales of these fascinated with the modern construction and alternate of neighborhood textile, a vibrant account emerges of the interior workings of a so-called "traditional" society and its arts responding inventively to many years of foreign amassing. those tales extend anthropological innovations of the barriers of areas and the certainties of cultures in ways in which are tangible and rapid to the reader. additionally, the ebook illuminates a few previously unexplored stipulations of inventive provenance.

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Extra info for Between the Folds: Stories of Cloth, Lives, and Travels from Sumba

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13 People in eastern Sumba value patterns that are challenging to render (such as curves) using the ikat method. The number and clarity of finished hues add to this complexity, as exhaustive and exacting binding and unbinding is involved in creating a multicolored cloth. Masterful dyeing of one color over another creates a third tone. For example, red over blue sections of a warp will yield a wine color or a reddish brown. Muddy colors (referred to as nda nabara kati lakua, ‘not cleanly made’) are disparaged, and dyers try to achieve warm, rich secondary tones.

Throughout the past, the nobility of East Sumba adopted foreign motifs into its own royal regalia as emblems of alliances with outsiders. In this way, regal symbols such as the heraldic lion from the Dutch coat of arms, the schematic patola designs from Indian trade cloths, and ENFOLDING HISTORY AND FLUX Figure 15. Aquatic and amphibious creatures from Rende. 43 sinewy dragons from Chinese porcelain entered Sumbanese design fields. 20 The appreciation of specific images over others varies between regions.

The magnitude of public festivals in East Sumba is always reckoned by how many tails (kiku) were involved—that is, how many animals were slaughtered to feed guests. This count makes public the bravado of men and marks the worth (wili) of women and the relative status of each clan involved in a marriage exchange. Animals link people, viscerally, with higher powers and with each other, and demonstrate social standing. Horses (njara) and chickens (manu) are prominent motifs in the southeast region of Mangili, an area known for the deep saturation of its dyes.

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