Textile Exhibition: "The Revival of the Sacred Bebali"

After more than a generation of decline, one of Bali’s most sacred and ceremonially important textile traditions is being revived. For the last twenty years, kain cepuk, which is used to protect dancers during sacred performances and trance rituals, commanded prices that meant only the poorest weavers on the island of Nusa Penida were willing to make cepuk by the meter using synthetic dyes. Now, with support from Threads of Life and the Yayasan Pecinta Budaya Bebali, cepuk are once being made of vibrant natural dyes by weavers of the Karya Tenun Ikat Alami cooperative, who are being honored for continuing their traditions, and making a living doing so.

The re-emergence of cepuk is only one expression of a broader revival of bebali textiles. Natural-dyed songket supplementary weft textiles from Sidemen in Karangasem are finding a growing market among the Balinese as wedding dress.
Tenganan remains famous for its spectacular double-ikat geringsing. Sacred bebali textiles, used in life transition ceremonies (Manusa Yadnya) and ceremonies for the
gods (Dewa Yadnya), are also being woven once more in Pejeng near Ubud, Sidemen, and Seraya in east Bali. Weavers are returning to the arts of keling (a solid striped textile), saudan (stripped supplementary textiles), gedogan (continuous warp cloth), rangrang (open slit tapestry textiles), agal (handspun weft-ikat), and poleng (plain weave black-and-white cloth).

It is this new beginning that we celebrate: that the weaving of beautiful, sacred, natural-dyed textiles by weavers and dyers in the poorer areas of Bali continues to support livelihood and express culture; and that temples, offerings, and sacred dances are once again being adorned by textiles that embody the elements of the earth, and the heart and intentions of their makers.

When: December 26 5:00 – 7:00pm Opening

December 26 - January 2, 2007:Presentation and demonstrations by weavers and dyers from Nusa Penida, Sideman Balinese Slonding Music Performed Tarian Tenun; Weavers Dance Performed

Where: Threads of Life Gallery, Jalan Kajeng #24, Ubud Bali

For more info call +62-(0)361-972187

William Ingram


baliwwwdotnet said...

A single piece of songket cloth takes up to three months to produce. Many women in the village of Sideman in East Bali are quite adept at weaving and it is a skill that is passed down through generations of families from mother to daughter. There are generally three types of patterns that are followed in songket weaving and the cloth is matched to the religious occasion that it will be worn for, which includes dance performances, weddings, tooth filing rituals and cremation ceremonies. More at http://blog.baliwww.com/arts-culture/427/