Textile Odyssey Tours
Exploring Cultures Through Textiles and Dress
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Textile Odyssey Tour to Indonesia - Timor, Sumba, Flores, Sulawesi
Optional Extension Tour to Bali
Dates: Aug./ Sept. 2016
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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.
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 (a silk ikat traditional to northern Bali.) We’ll also travel to the nearby isle of Nusa Penida where we see the weaving of rang rang (a tapestry woven cloth.) 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.
Flying to the remote islands of Sumba, Flores, Sulawesi, and Timor, we’ll travel overland to small out-of-the-way weaving villages. Here 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.
Optional Extension Tour to Bali and Nusa Penida
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
Join Textile Odyssey as we explore the tantalizing Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Flores, Sumba, Timor, Nusa Penida, 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.
Our optional extension 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.