The Indonesian island of Sumba is well-known for its ancient traditions, its surfing beaches and, most of all, its flamboyant handmade textiles. Sumbanese textiles are used as clothing, in ceremonies and as valuables for exchange. Most importantly, they accompany the dead as wealth for the afterlife, and they provide heirloom for descendants. Sumbanese ikat weaving, especially when executed with traditional materials and methods, is of exquisite quality and requires great skill, which the islanders are rightly proud of.
Over a few visits to the island, we acquired a number of pieces from weavers in the villages. Each piece tells a small story, and provides images of Sumbanese life, ritual and belief. Our little “collection” is by no means a comprehensive exhibit, it only represents the story of our travel there, our involvement with the islanders, with their ceremonies and their culture. To illustrate the context in which these textiles are made and worn, we will present some images from our travels to the island.
About Miotto and Dean - Olivo Miotto is a scientist who studies malaria parasites at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit; Tracy Dean is the Head of English Guides at the National Museum Volunteers in Bangkok. Together, they have been in Southeast Asia since 1995, and in this time they have travelled extensively across the region. As a result, they have developed a taste for traditional textiles, particularly Indonesian ones, and a curiosity for traditional death rituals. Nowhere more than Sumba do these two ingredients come together.
Venue: Venue: Bandara Suites Silom (see map below) 4th floor conference room, 75/1 Soi Saladaeng 1 (map below)
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