Expozisaun Kolesaun Tais Timor Aid
5 Outubru - 3 Dezembru 2010
Avenida dos Direitos Humanos Bidau Lecidere, Dili
Inspirasaun husi Besik no Dook: Feto Soru na’n
Timoroan nian no sira nia Arte
Inspiration from Near and Far: Timorese Weavers and their Art
In Timor-Leste, weaving textiles is women’s work. Throughout the island of
Timor, communities of weavers produce the fabric used in every suku . In the
past, these textiles were used as an integral part of daily life, in the home
and for important rituals. There were special textiles used to celebrate birth,
marriage and mark death, and to perform ceremonies that would ensure
material and spiritual prosperity, safety and fertility.
Today, with social and industrial change, these textiles have yielded their
domestic place to factory made clothing and print sarongs. Modernity and
external influences, however, has brought much variety and change to the
weaving craft in Timor-Leste.
I hope this exhibition will be a small picture
of some traditional elements and some of the changes. I hope it will enhance
the appreciation of Timorese textiles and add to the understanding of the
weaving craft of Timor-Leste and of the sources of inspiration that have shaped
it. As a celebration of the beauty and integrity of their tradition, it claims for
Timorese women their rightful place amongst all the great weaving cultures of
South East Asia.
One of the goals of Timor Aid is to preserve the Timorese identity which is
an important aspect of the nation building of Timor-Leste.. Working with
weavers and textiles is an integral part of this work. Timor Aid is delighted
to be exhibiting some of our very special cloths, collected over the last 10
years and carefully conserved for the nation. Inspirations from Far and Near:
Timorese weavers and their Art is for the weavers, their families and the
Timorese people in the hope that it will help to keep alive this legacy from
their grandmothers.
José Lobato
Chairperson, Timor Aid
© Timor Aid Dili 2010
Text edited by Anne Finch & Rosalia Soares
Photography: Gibrael Cabrocho
Thanks to ConocoPhillips Timor-Leste and
ESSET Electrical Timor-Leste for their support.
Iha Timor Leste, soru tais nu’udar feto sira nia servisu. Iha ilha de Timor
tomak, komunidade soru nain sira produs tais sira ne’ebe sira uza iha
suku idak-idak. Iha passadu, tais sira ne’e ema uza hanesan parte integral
ida husi sira nia moris lor-loron, iha uma no iha ritual importante sira. Iha
tais espesial atu uza ba selebra labarik moris, kaben no mos mate, no atu
performa serimonia ne’ebe sei asegura prosperidade material no espiritual,
seguransa no fertilidade.
Ohin loron, ho mudansa sosial no industrial, tais sira ne’e lakon sira nia
fatin domestiku ho roupa no lipa sira ne’ebe mai husi fabrika. Modernismo
no influensia external, no entantu, lori variedade no mudansa barak ba
teknika ka motivu sira husi soru tais iha Timor Leste. Hanesan fotografia
kiik ida husi elementu tradisional no mudansa balun, hau hein katak,
ezibisaun ida ne’e sei foti/ haforsa apresiasaun ba tais timor no aumenta
ema nia kompreensaun ba teknika soru tais nian. Hanesan selebrasaun
ba tais nia kapas no nia integridade iha tradisaun, tais hatudu /foti feto
timoroan sira, nia fatin lolos entre kultura soru iha Sudoeste Asiatiku.
Objektivu ida husi Timor Aid, maka atu preserva timoroan sira nia
identidade, ne’ebe sai hansesan aspektu prinsipal ida husi desenvolvmentu
nasaun Timor Leste nian. Servisu hamutuk ho soru nain sira no sira nia
tais haanesan parte integral ida husi preservasaun ne’e. Timor Aid sente
prazer atu hatudu tais espesial balun , ne’ebe rekolha tiha ona durante
tinan 10 nia laran no preserva hela ba nasaun. Inspirasaun husi dook no
besik: Soru nain timoroan sira ho sira nia arte organiza ba soru nain sira,
sira nia familia no ema timor oan sira, ami hein katak exposisaun ida ne’e
sei ajuda soru nain sira manten /hamoris legasia ida ne’e mai husi sira nia
abon feto sira.
José Lobato
Chairperson, Timor Aid
Tais feto (Tetun) Woman’s tube skirt
Ema Fataluku no Makassae
Handspun and commercial thread
and synthetic dyes
Kolesaun Timor Aidl | Obten 2005 |
Liman Lo’os :TA0064
Centru: TA0070
Liman Karuk: TA0013
Women’s tubeskirts are common throughout South East Asia. They are usually
worn by tying in front. They are made from two sections of cloth, sewn together.
The stitching is often a feature. In colonial times in Timor-Leste, the Portuguese
introduced a French seam which is still sometimes seen, but other stitching patterns
are much more suitable to the bulky cloth. In the eastern regions of Timor-Leste
the tubeskirt designs of the Fataluku people and the Makasae people are often
hard to tell apart. Particularly the tais created in the area of Lautem adjacent
to Baucau where the tubeskirts have bands of narrow futus and plain weave
stripes and a plain border or a border containing a decoration done with a
supplementary weft thread. These decorations are done on what becomes the
rear of the tais and are especially designed for showing off while dancing as the
eye is focussed on the feet.
The Timor Aid Textile Collection was assembled in the years following 2000, as a
part of nation forming and nation building. The collection was formed to assist in the
preservation of an ndangered culture. It drew from every district and technique where
the weaving art is practised in Timor-Leste. Cloths from neighbouring regions of West
Timor are also held in the collection. In the future, the Timor Aid textile collection is
intended to form part of the national collection of cultural objects and is conserved by
Timor Aid for that purpose and for the people of Timor-Leste. This exhibition features a
selection of these cloths. The documentation of the Collection over the years has been
done by Sra Maria do Ceu, Sra Ofelia Napolae, Sr Antonio Coelho, Sra Rosalia Soares
and Sr Jose Ximenes with the generous support and guidance of Sra Joanna Barrkmann,
Acting Deputy Director, Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory. Reasearch into
the textile traditions of Timor Leste is in its infancy, and our knowledge here at Timor
Aid has been recently suppllemented after time spent with Ibu Yovita Meta of Yayasan
Tafaen Pah, Kefamananu Timor Barat and Pak Willi Godeti of Kupang. Timor Aid is
greteful to these individuals for their assistance.
The current exhibition is held here in the building that Timor Aid has occupied since 1999.
Although the building has suffered much over the years, and was completely burnt in
1999, Timor Aid has continued to operate here. Timor Aid has seen much growth and
change in that time, but the textile program has always been a key component of our
activities. There are now 80 cloths in the collection, and we hope that it will assist the
purpose of ensuring that the art of weaving survives and flourishes in this country.
The theme of this exhibition is to assist understanding in what has inspired these weavers
as they worked: where their ancient motifs and meanings came from, and what
influences they have experienced and used.
Beti Maek Pauf (Baikeno)
Tiais Mane (Tetun) Selimut
(Bahasa Indonesia)
Man’s cloth wrap (English)
Ema Uab Meto Distritu
Kolesuaun Tais Timor Aid |
This detail of the cloth right shows the motif in one of the sotis technique
stripes on the side panels of the cloth. Bet Bose/Bet Naek (Baikeno language)
three panel white cloths with highly decorativee centre panel are significant marriage, status and ceremonial cloths from Oecusse, and they are
also found in the regencies of West Timor. that are adjacent to Oecusse and
which are also home to Uab Meto people. There are many signs of influence
between these areas.
Koleksaun Timor Aid nian hahu halao depois de tinan 2000, hanesan parte ida atu
forma no konstroe nasaun ida ne’e. Kolesaun ida ne’e halo, atu ajuda preserva
tradisaun ne’ebe iha risku atu lakon. Ne’e representa husi distritu idak-idak no mos
teknika sira ne’ebe sira uza iha pratika soru tais iha Timor Leste. Hena husi regiaun
vizinha Timor Osidental mos iha preservadu iha kolesaun ne’e. Kolesaun ida ne’e nia
objetivu atu forma parte ida husi objektu kultural ba nafatin husi kolesaun nasional
no Timor Aid konserva ba ba fim ida ne’e no ba ema Timor –Leste sira. Ezibisaun
ida ne’e, apresenta selesaun ida husi tais hirak ne’e. Kolesaun tais durante tinan
hirak ne’e nia laran no ninia dokumentasaun halao husi : Sra Maria do Ceu, Sr
Antonio Coelho, Sra Ofelia Napoleao , Sra Rosalia M Soares. no Sr Jose Ximenes.
Sra Joana Barkman, nu’udar vise diretora husi Museum and Art Galery Northen
Territory, ho ninia generosidade ajuda fo dalan ba dokumentasaun ida ne’e ba
Timor Aid. Peskisa ba tradisaun tais husi Timor Leste sei nurak hela, no ami rekonhese
katak resentemente iha Timor Aid reforsu hafoin hasoru malu ho sra Yovita Meta husi
Yayasan Tafean Pah, iha Kefamenanu, Timor Osidental no sr Willi Godeti husi Kupao.
Timor Aid gratu tebes ba ema sira ne’e nia asistensia.
One of the great traditions of the art is ancestral and zoomorphic representations.
In Oecusse these are often in the central panel of a cloth, with smaller repeats on
both panels on the sides. The central representation of creatures sometimes human,
often crocodiles, lizards, frogs, and fantasy creatureus
Sica caru naku (F), tais mane (T)
Ema Fataluku
Karik iha Ira Ara, Lautém
Handspun and commercial cotton
and natural and synthetic dyes.
Kolesaun Timor Aid TA0022
Beti Naek (Baikeno) Tais Mane
(Tetun) Selimut (BI
Man’s cloth wrap
Ema Uab Meto Distritu Oecusse
Handspun and commercial thread
and natural and synthetic dyes
Kolesuaun Tais Timor Aid
Centre: TA0074
Right: TA0100
Left: TA++++
The caves at Ile Kere Kere are
sacred to the Fataluku people.
These caves are 40,000 years old
and have served as inspriation
for the motifs of the cloths .especially the boat and person
riding a horse motif appear in
most important cloths
Other motifs in the repeating futus bands of
the Fataluku cloths are
drawn from the natural
world. The fruit of the
nitas (Bahasa Indonesia)
sterculia foetida (Latin
name) is used as one of
the important motifs. It
is used to oil the cotton
threads before dyeing.
Beti Naek (Baikeno) Tais
Mane (Tetun) Selimut
(Bahasa Indonesia)
Man’s cloth wrap (English)
Ema Uab Meto Distritu
Kolesuaun Tais Timor Aid
| TA0016
The Oecusse man’s wrap
cloth on the leftt contains
the motif pasu bola
(Baikeno language) which
is a motif common to the
area of Oecusse and
surrounding regions. The
motif represents a chain
or belt, and is known as
cintauran in Portuguese.
This motif was used in cloths
tied aroudnd the waist of
warriors to indicate clan
orign. The motif occurs both
in large futus/ikat central
panels, and in fine bands.
Its use is common to the
areas surrounding Oecusse,
and it is distinctive to Uab
Meto people. It is part of a repetoire of abstract motifs
that date from ancient times and variations of which exist
in many of the ikat/futus producing islands of the region.
This shared language of motifs is also seen in other
techniques. See the mak’aif (Baikeno) motif that is so
common in West Timor in the detail to the right. This cloth
(overleaf) is also a very recognisable Oecusse cloth.
In this border of a Marobe tubeskirt
made with handspun cotton and mud
and indigo dyeing, an embellishment is
made with bright coloured commercial
threads. In the shoulder cloth (right) from
Viqueque, a European floral design is
incorporated into traditional futus bands
Tais Kahe (T) Shoulder cloth
Ema Fehan, Ossu, Viqueque
Handspun thread and natural dyes
Handwoven on a back strap loom.
Kolesaun Timor Aid | TA0021
Inspiration from near and far - intense mixing of heritage and patterning means that
the origin of iconographic motifs and techniques is often hard to place. On some
of the textiles of Timor-Leste, the mix is strange and wonderful. In the cloths seen
here, the paired mermaids from Lautem, appearing together with the Monstrance
(a Christian ceremony object) and the tree of life. And in the cloth from Ainaro the
totemic figures and the Sumba type birds that bear a resemblance to European folk
art. When foreign and new things are available to textile artists, they are often
placed in a border because the supplementary thread techniques are suitable for
playing with new combinations. Often, in cloths like this
with elaborate borders, the natural dyes are reserved for
the futus bands, and brighter colors are used for stripes
and decoration. The fringing can be twisted or un-twisted.
These cloths are both shoulder cloths.
Tais Kahe (T) Selandang
(BI) Shoulder cloth
Ema Mumbai
Hatudu, Ainaro.
Commercial cotton and
synthetic yarns, natural
and chemical dyes,
handwoven on a back
strap loom.
Single warp resist dye
technique (Futus; warp ikat). Slit tapestry
weave technique on border.
Maker : Alexandrina Da Silva
153.5 (l) x 41 (w) cms
Commissioned in 2006 by Timor Aid for the
Kolesaun Timor Aid | TA0031
Photo: Gibrael Carocho
Timor Aid
© Timor Aid PO Box 145 Dili 2010
Ph: 7230799
Tais Kahe (T) Selandang (BI) Shoulder cloth
Ema Fataluku , Lautem Commercial cotton and
synthetic yarns, natural and chemical dyes,
handwoven on a back strap loom.
Kolesaun Timor Aid | TA0021

Inspiration from Near and Far: Timorese Weavers and their Art