Tewuni Rai Savu - Woman tubular cloth / Sarong èi raja
Tubular cloths of the type èi raja with lines of supplementary warp threads have been traditionally the prerogative of women in ruler families. This right was then transferred to her female descendants. Lau Djami’s female genealogy shows that at least at two occasions her female ancestors married local rulers. For instance Mojo Lado who married the third raja of Seba during Portuguese times (16th C) and Wahi Hehe who married the raja of Mesara in the 18th C (VOC times).
Therefore Lau Djami is fully entitled to weave and wear a sarong of the èi raja type.(For genealogy of her maternal line see Duggan 2001: 102-103 and Duggan & Hägerdal 2018: 226, 230-231).
The motif wokelaku based on a lozenge repeating three times is very old and the first created pattern for identifying women of the moiety Greater Blossom (hubi ae). A few variations of the lozenge based motif exist. Here wokelaku ngutu kuhi showing hooks derives its name from the similarity to the shape of a notch or beard of a key which is not its original name.
However hook and rhomb are to be found on ancient bronze and ceramic artefacts in Asia where the wokelaku ngutu kuhi motif probably took its origin.The sarong is made from home-grown cotton and hand- spun by Lau Djami herself. It can takes up to two years to spin enough cotton for producing a sarong as women spin only after completing household work.
A tubular cloth with lozenges is (or was) compulsory for important rites of passage like marriage and funeral for women of the Greater Blossom group (hubi ae). The red edges at the middle seam are the primary identification marks of hubi ae. Lau Djami is an accomplished weaver as she masters all steps of the production of a hand-woven cloth from spinning cotton to ikating motifs, dyeing the yarns with vegetable dyes and weaving the cloth.
Name of the textile: Woman tubular cloth / Sarong èi raja
Ikat , dye and weaving process: Lau Djami
Moiety: Greater Blossom (hubi ae)
Maternal lineage: wini Ga Lena
Motif: wokelaku ngutu kuhi
Material: handspun cotton (benang kapas) It takes 2 years to spin enough tight cotton for such cloths
Material: Natural dyes (warna alam): indigo (nila), morinda (mengkudu), curcuma (kunyit)
Dimensions as seen on the photo:
L 158cm (weft = 79cmx2), l (or width) 56cm (warp)
Color: Red, Blue, White