Timor Woven Panel

This Timor woven panel was made out of cotton, likely in the mid-20th century. Handmade cloth in Timor now largely falls into one of three categories, broadly defined as “woman’s cloth,” “man’s cloth,” and “shoulder cloths.”

Women’s cloths are made by joining several panels together to create a rectangular tube of cloth. On formal occasions, women wear these pulled up under their arms, covering themselves from chest to ankles. In casual settings women are more likely to wear these skirts a bit lower in combination with a blouse. Men’s cloths are flat and rectangular. Men wear them wrapped around their hips in combination with international- or western-style shirts and with a second cloth draped over their shoulders.

Shoulder cloths are a 20th century addition to the Timorese clothing repertoire. The overall format of a long narrow cloth is nothing new in Timor, but this current version is connected to the growing desire of some groups to create a more unified Indonesian national dress. This woven panel falls into this category, and was likely made to be worn as a shoulder cloth.

Timorese dyers favor the blue-black hues from indigo and the red-brown from the root bark of Morinda citrifolia, though they are by no means limited to these palates. Both of these color families are present in this panel. The central portion is a light tan decorated with red-brown geometric designs and confronting animals. The border is a blue-black color lined with geometric shapes or abstracted animals. The ends terminate in long fringes.


Circa: Mid-20th century

Origin: Timor, Indonesia

Material: Cotton

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: 16" x 77"

Inventory number: TX4543



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