The Palu’e pair: Nae romo and Wua wela

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Wua wela (‘the dehiscing Areca’ cloth) and Nae romo (‘sarong’, or ‘wide warp’) are the two most iconic, or common, Palu’e cloths. Nae romo is the only male ikat sarong type. This pair was made in early 2020, only one of each. Made by the master weaver Longge, using tencel yarn, first season, without problems. Tencel, made from trees from certified agroforestry, is not as heavy as cotton, like in between silk and cotton. The extreme dark blue was achieved with only local indigo. Longge, or the Palu’e tradition, can also overdye the indigo with mangrove and another local plant, and then the colour will look about the same as on these cloths. The red here is a new ‘patent’, which among else uses left over fibres from a tree which is used for boatbuilding. Wood chips from this tree (probably a species of Mahogany, if not ironwood), turn red when rain falls on it. Longge’s ikat work is great, and the dyeing phenomenal. The cloths below are not yet sewn to sarongs. The Nae romo, a wider type, is sewn directly along the weft. Often, because it is rather short, it is sewn together with another cloth along the warp, creating one big sarong. Here they are being aired outside, pre-curating. The motifs for the Wua wela, largely the same as today’s, are taken from an old Wua wela in the Peter ten Hoopen Collection (Many thanks,, but the ikat bands were not executed assymetrically, but symmetrically as is the rule today, not because it is more difficult for this weaver.



Wiwi ca réta ca'i liru, lema lawa lae ceré no'o tana