Lau pahudu is the name given to an exquisite form of woman’s skirt produced by women of nobility. Together with the hinggi (men’s shoulder or hip cloth), they constitute important heirloom objects that are used during marriage exchanges and passed from generation to generation. Supplementary warp weaving is rare in Indonesia as it is requires a high level of skills. As such, weavers of lau pahudus are held in high esteem. This lau pahudu is a visually stunning textile. Images of birds, tree of life and ancestor figures dominate a large central band, while a narrow band at the bottom depicts birds with boat-like profiles. The images are woven in light yarns against a black and red background, creating a compelling visual effect.
For an eye-opening account of Sumba ceremonial rituals and textiles, click here.