Chris Motley, "Garden Galaxy Red Benicia" (detail)


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Textile Odyssey Tour to Indonesia – Timor, Sumba, Flores, Sulawesi and Bali

Textile Odyssey Tour to Indonesia 2017 Main tour: Sulawesi, Flores, Sumba, and Timor (July 20 – Aug. 6) Pre-tour to Bali (July 17 – July 20) Post-tour to Sulawesi (Aug. 6 – Aug. 11) Join Textile Odyssey as we explore the tantalizing Indonesian islands of Sumba, Timor, Flores, Sulawesi, and Bali. An archipelago of over 18,000 islands with one of the most abundant biological diversity in the world, this culturally diverse nation of over 300 ethnicities and 700 living languages is also one of the richest countries in terms of textile traditions. Utilizing their own special combinations of materials, designs, motifs, ornamentation, and textile techniques – such as weft ikat, warp ikat, double ikat, supplementary weft and warp weaves, batik, tritik (stitch-resist), bark cloth and natural dyes – many of these cultures express their tribal beliefs and world-views in their unique textiles. Animistic motifs reflect an ongoing connection to nature and the spirit world. Textiles are an intrinsic and sacred part of daily life in these villages, and many cloths hold special meaning as magical, powerful objects used in ceremonies and rituals; payments of bride-wealth; or as protective medicinal garments imbued with healing powers. In keeping with Textile Odyssey’s commitment to bridging cultures, learning directly from the source, and honoring the diverse traditions of native artisans, our unique itinerary includes visits to remote villages where we learn about textile techniques and other cultural traditions directly from the artisans in their local settings. From Bali, we’ll fly to the remote islands of Sumba, Flores, Timor, and Sulawesi. Travel overland to small out-of-the-way weaving villages, we’ll view firsthand demonstrations of traditional textile techniques and learn about these cultures directly from the local people. Our overnight stays in nearby towns enable us to see traditional ways of life that otherwise would be missed. Some special textile techniques and highlights of our visit to these islands include: Sumba – warp ikats in bold animal and human figures, supplementary weft weave, supplementary warp weave, tapestry weave, beadwork Flores – natural dyeing, weft ikats with delicate, complex patterning, songket, kwatek kinge (a ceremonial cloth incorporating seashells and ikat), dance performance Sulawesi -– weft ikats in strikingly graphic geometric shapes, silk weaving, batiks; Toraja clift tombs with effigies Timor –warp ikat, supplementary weft weave including buna (a unique technique of discontinuous supplementary weft in which each weft yarn is wrapped around a group of warp threads) and sotis (supplementary warp patterning), tapestry weave, the use of handspun cotton and natural dyes such as morinda, indigo, loba, peanut leaf, mat, and turmeric; dance and musical performance Optional Pre-tour to Bali: Our pre-tour takes us to the vibrant and enchanting island of Bali, a visual and sensual treat of beautiful lush, brilliant green rice terraces, stone Gods and Hindu temples decorated with colorful banners and delicate handcrafted offerings made of flowers, rice, and leaves; graceful women balancing offerings on their heads; and lively festivals of gamelan music and dancers in ornate costumes. We’ll visit the village of the Bali Aga, the original inhabitants of Bali, who are among the very few cultures in the world to produce double ikat, a dyeing and weaving process that requires exceptional skills. Here we have the opportunity to witness demonstrations of the weaving of the Bali Aga’s sacred double ikat cloth, known as geringsing. Other textile sites on Bali include weaving and market areas where we see demonstrations of songket weaving (supplementary weft weave patterns woven with golden metallic threads) and weft ikats, including endek sutra mastuli ( silk ikat ). Along with the textile arts in Bali are a variety of other highly developed art forms such as gamelan music and dance, fine silver and gold jewelry, basketry, wood sculptures, stone sculptures, and paintings. Optional Post-tour to Sulawesi: Flying to the exotic island of Sulawesi, we travel overland to the highlands of Tana Toraja, home to the Torajan people who are known for their elaborate funerary customs and fascinating architecture. The boat-shaped roofs of Tongkanan (ancestral houses) reflect beliefs in a lifecycle that begins in Paradise, descends to earth, and returns to Paradise. These unique buildings are decorated with textiles given as gifts and buffalo horns from funeral sacrifices, symbols of both reverence for ancestors and prestige of the deceased and their families. On mountain cliffs, tau-taus (wooden effigies of the deceased) guard over tombs and protect the living. If the timing is right, we’ll have the opportunity to attend a funeral ceremony. Other highlights include Sulawesi’s distinctive hand-woven, natural dyed ikats with their bold geometric designs; colorful silk ikat cloth; and Torajan resist-painted ceremonial cloths. Leader: Since her first visit to Indonesia in 1974, Serena Lee has been fascinated with the textiles and warm-hearted peoples of Indonesia. As a textile artist and ethnographic researcher, Serena’s intrigue with textiles, ethnic dress, and diverse cultures has led her to spend over five years in remote areas of over a dozen countries in Asia. She has presented her research on the ethnic dress in northern Vietnam and southwest China internationally at numerous venues. This is Serena’s tenth trip to Indonesia and based on the resoundingly successful August 2016 Textile Odyssey.Other Textile Odyssey Tours in the works: Bhutan – Oct./Nov. 2017 Nepal – Nov. 2017 Southwest China – TBD Vietnam and Cambodia – TBD Check out photos from previous Textile Odyssey tours: Email to register or for more info


July 20, 2017
August 11, 2017
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