Woman's tubular garment (tais feto)

Tetum people
19th century
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General Description

Tubular skirts are worn with the top edge folded over to the waist or below. For this reason, the upper and lower areas of the cloth are the focus of the design. This skirt is embellished with stylized skeins of thread alternating with protective lizards. The raised figures are the result of a deft and painstaking process that requires colorful and costly supplementary silk weft (transverse) threads to be wound around collected strands of warp yarns (which run perpendicular to the weft yarns). The weaver probably spent several months completing this cloth, which would have been owned by the king's wife and worn during ritual ceremonies and festivals.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, 2016.