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Savu’s Textile Traditions: Talk and Demonstration

July 7

On the island of Savu in eastern Indonesia, textiles woven according to ancestral tradition are believed to be endowed with a special power. As globalization threatens to eliminate this part of traditional Savunese culture, a group of weavers known as Tewuni Rai (‘Placenta of the world’) work to combat the trend of viewing textiles as mere commodities. 

Join master weaver Ice Tede Dara and anthropologist Geneviève Duggan to explore how Savu’s traditional weavers resist the pressures of a commercialized world. You’ll learn about the hidden powers within Savunese handwoven textiles, their resist-dyed ikat technique, and the exclusive role of maternal lines in handing down Savunese ancestral knowledge. You’ll also have the chance to try your hand at traditional cotton spinning, weaving, and ikat tying. 

Program Schedule:

  • 12 PM: Show and tell of Savu textiles and ikat materials with Geneviève Duggan, Sandra Sardjono and Christopher Buckley from the Tracing Patterns Foundation and Crissy Guerrero from Meet the Makers Indonesia; ikat tying demonstration by Ice Tede Dara
  • 1 PM: Lecture by Geneviève Duggan
  • 2 PM: Spinning and weaving demonstration by Ice Tede Dara 
About the Speakers

Geneviève Duggan is a French anthropologist specializing in the history and cultures of eastern Indonesia, with a particular focus on transmitting knowledge in nonliterate societies. Her research on the textile traditions of the island of Savu was published in 2001 (Ikats of Savu, White Lotus). Her Ph.D. thesis (Processes of Memory on the Island of Savu, 2008) received the Wang Gungwu Prize of the National University of Singapore and is part of History and Oral Traditions on an Indonesian Island (co-authored with Hans Hägerdal, NUS Press, 2018). She is currently an independent researcher and continues to visit Savu to support its traditional weavers.

Ice Tede Dara is the mother of two boys and two girls; a master weaver, dyer, and teacher; and the executive director of Tewuni Rai, an association of traditional weavers on the island of Savu in eastern Indonesia. While attending high school, she wove to earn money for school fees. After studying economics in Kupang, Timor Island, for her BA and graduating with honors in 2012, she returned to her village as a secondary school teacher. Since 2013, she has participated in exhibitions, demonstrations, and workshops in Indonesia and at conferences in Southeast Asia. This is her first visit to the United States. 

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Venue

Asian Art Museum
Samsung Hall – Corporate
San Fransisco, CA United States