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Tube Skirt 'tais', West Timor

Item: Woman's tube skirt, Timor

Size: 44 x 76 in (112 x 193 cm), 920 g

Provenance: Belu region, West Timor, Indonesia, 1960s-1970s

Method: Handwoven, cotton with natural and analine dyes, warp ikat, sungkit technique


This cylindrical skirt is made from four panels. For a tube skirt, the ends would be gathered and stitched together. The two central panels each consist of narrow bands of spirals and meanders and a wide band of ikat. The ikat band motifs on this cloth include usual Timor hooks, rhombs and spirals. The heavily patterned areas on either end panel are made using sungkit, a complicated technique involving wrapping the warp threads in colored wefts during the weaving process. Here it is intricately patterned using red, orange, pink, white, yellow and green.


4-panel Ayotupas tube skirts are difficult to find, and prized by collectors. They were used for ceremonies and as valuable gifts or exchanges. This piece is a little larger than usual and speaks of a person of importance..


A two inch tear on the bottom; see picture.

Item code: txtl0818 – SOLD!