About Palu’e ikat and Palu’e culture

Palu’e is a small island near the north coast of Flores in the eastern Indonesian province Nusa Tenggara Timur. Visit also the Palu’e Audio Collection at Kaipuleohone, HI: a comprehensive collection of sound files (WAV) in Palu’e (sara Lu’a) with annotations (EAF), focusing on narratives (folk tales, fables, legends, a local genre of healing), also containing songs, ritual language, and a number of interviews about weaving and Palu’e ikat.

Wua wela by Mama Longge. True indigo blue with red factory dyes. First season (17-18) using natural dyes. We miss this one.. (with RR)

Roja hama-hama? A Linguistic Review of The Ende and Palu’e Weaving Traditions

Roja hama-hama? A Linguistic Review of The Ende and Palu'e Weaving Traditions. Jurnal Lingko 3 (1):104-121. There were problems with the publishing (and layouting) so I make available the same version here, but my own PDF, as is found on Lingko (19 Oct -21): Palue_Ende_weaving_210610

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Palu’e Black

Fieldtrip Flores-Palu'e early April 2021 Mite – Black, or very darkSo, I was finally able to experience live the process of making Palu'e black colour, the overdyeing of indigo-dyed yarn with several plants/ingredients. I arrived at the island after a week on Flores, at the end of the cyclon-natural disaster (on the nearby islands), and by joining a small fisherman's boat from Ropa in the late afternoon, after I and several other persons had missed the passenger boats returning to the island from the market midday. Early April is normally dry season, but this year the rainy season dragged on an extra month. We arrived after dusk, and I had to walk for about an hour until I found a man with a motorbike who could take me up the mountain to my village.After a day of hanging out with my hosts and a reconciliation ceremony, we, mainly Mama Longge that is, did the black overdyeing. I was lucky to get some rare handspun cotton yarn, already dyed five times in separate indigo vats by Tante Meli (Pisane), and that all the ingredients were available: 1. fire wood ashes, or water filtered through a sapa basket containing the ashes. 2.dried leaves of the langalidhi tree 3. mangrove bark (Rhizophora*) 4. a fruit of the tall wuwu tree (the least important I assume) 5. the root fruit of loi, green porang (Amorphophallus oncophyllus), used for starching the yarn, squeezed into the yarn during the overdyeing. Only the mangrove is not endemic, growing…

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Palu’e Ikat: Nomenclature and Iconography

This, our first, published article on Palu'e ikat explores the theme of iconography and nomenclatures, both the imagery and the interpretation, and how the naming relates to those. It includes a lot of general information because it also presents the documentation. Perhaps we had not chosen this theme if we already knew that most of the reference literature have run into the same problem as we did, that "the weavers have forgotten the meaning of their patterns", which became an issue of general anthropological interest that we also explore. For this article we explored several angles, including side tracks which had little or no use in the end. We are very curious about how the first ikat weaving on the island looked like and where it came from, but this is not yet possible to establish. The most likely source is Flores. There are Palu'e origin myths or oral histories that tell of a migration from Roja, Ende on Flores, a Lio or Ende (proto-)group, but Palu'e ikat has very little in common with the Ende cloths we know since the 1800s, which are three-paneled, three weavings give two cloths. Perhaps those groups several hundred years ago produced a more simple ikat than today's patola inspired weaving. Who knows, anyhow the Palu'e have remained and developed within what can be called a more ancient design format with stippled white motifs on a blackish background with red stripes. The article went up 30 Nov -20, but it says 2021, probably because…

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Ko’a is the name of a ’ceremonial domain’ on Palu’e, one of the seven domains that adhere to agricultural cycles beginning and ending with the sacrifice of water buffalo. Dr. Michael Vischer in the first significant text on Palu’e textiles (in Hamilton 1994), a fine anthropological account of the relationship between Palu’e ideas connected with textiles to the system of Palu’e socio-cosmic thought, mentions that interlocutors related the word koa (lit. ’boil’), which relates to the fermentation of the indigo vat, to Ko’a. While this could be a reflection of the ideology of ‘precedence’, because this exists in every domain, which Vischer notes, a more obvious connection would be ko’a ‘to warp’, to set up the ikated warp yarns before dyeing, and the final setup of all the warp yarns before weaving. The pronunciation is the same, the apostrophe marks the consonant glottal stop, which is frequent in sara Lu’a. Ko’a is indeed one of the most traditional domains today, or the one where the inhabitants all learn how to togo ‘chant-dance’ and more. In one of their origin stories the people spread from Ko’a to the rest of the island. Anyhow, linguistically, the meaning of ko’a does not speak against this belief, perhaps the name of the domain is taken from the word, and weaving is ingrained in the culture. Newly born girls are presented with weaving tools at the name giving ceremony bundo ngara, and woven textiles are the prime good given by wife-givers in response to the…

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Nangge Liru, a myth about the origin of weaving

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Available as WAV-file with annotations, item SD1-037, at https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/38940Preliminary translation, still close to the transcription style. Story told by Lengu Nande. Notes: Areca fruit and piper betle, known together as sirih pinang in Indonesian, wua mutu in sara Lu'a, is a cultural pastime with ceremonial significance. Liru means 'the sky' or 'the heavens'. Raw rice grains, unhusked rice, siwe, is a ritual agent offered primarily to the deceased, the ancestors.That woman.. her parents lived up in the heavens. She had married a man from a village down by the edge of the world, so she lived in that village. There was no warping, and nobody to teach how to warp and weave. Then one moonlit night she talked to her husband. When the sun was about to rise, she stayed with their child, while her man, because the low tide was peaking, went searching for sea snails. He went searching for sea snails, while she and the child stayed at home. She cooked for the child, a small pot of rice. She cooked for her child, because she wanted to go up, up to her parents. When the rice was done, she told her child, “Hey, when your father comes tell him that if he is truly wealthy, go get me above Dheko pere réta wa Nangge Liru.”With a chicken and a coconut bowl of raw rice she went to the areca tree near the house. She asked the tree, “Areca, are you short, short until beneath the soil, or…

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From Language to Ikat

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Stefan (Cawa) and Ratu, were exploring the semantic domain of weaving with senior weavers and learned names of sarong (dhama) types that they hitherto did not know of: Bhejo, Loka, Sa loi, Hura..  The three first mentioned cloths still existed on the island, but in other domains (or villages) and in their styles; the main pattern of this Loka was different. Where we lived, in the Kéli and Ndéo domains, Bhejo and Loka were not in use any more. We were very lucky to find two old, over a century, cloths stored away in the village Ndeo. Although in poor condition, such old cloths are extremely rare on Palu’e these days. Before this we had never seen a Palu’e cloth in natural dyes. It is said that people, ata turis, or collectors came during the 90s and bought naturally dyed cloths. Another reason why old cloths are gone is of course that they become worn out until they are in such a poor condition that the owner disposes of them. Most people have not understood the value of a ragged cloth, for heritage, to copy, even to sell to a cloth enthusiast. The fate of the discovered cloths were a little bit better. We had two copies made of the Loka and one of the Bhejo. Later I heard that the Loka had been forgotten outside in the rains, and fell into the mud. Half of the piece was saved (imaged). As for the Bhejo, it was borrowed by someone,…

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