Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

A Sumba Queen’s Gift

The joy of the day is a Sumba Queen’s gift to her daughter

And to all of us in the textile-art world.

For here we are enjoying her creation from many many decades ago!

Antique Sumba Lau Wuti Kau Shell Beaded Textile

Just look at the palette!

Antique Dayk Beaded Shell Textile Lau Witi kau or Lau Wuti Kau

Antique Dayk Beaded Shell Textile Lau Witi kau or Lau Wuti Kau

Antique Dayk Beaded Shell Textile Lau Witi kau or Lau Wuti Kau

Antique Dayk Beaded Shell Textile Lau Witi kau or Lau Wuti Kau

And all the little animals that surround the main figure!

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And most importantly note the importance given to the mind / head that has a focal point  of circles depicting the face rather than features. And also the importance or special treatment given to the navel. with the blue beads.

Clearly there is a cultural story hidden within this fantastic palimpsest and a little reading reveals it all!

In the olden days, queens in East Sumba gave these works of art as a wedding gift or trousseau to their daughters,  as a blessing of power of the Marapu who is the first deified ancestor of the clan.  His presence through such textiles confers protection on the family and by giving the daughter this textile, the protection is extended to the new branch of the family. The face of a Marapu may never be depicted in the beaded motif on the textile and is therefore shown only as a centre of energy.

In this particular textile, we see that the face has concentric circles with blue bead centre. This feature is also present at the navel – a very important connector to the world of the foetus.

So much depth!

Long after the wedding of the daughter, here we are enjoying her gifts at many many levels!

I wonder if the universe has a way for us to convey our thanks  to the people  who are no longer alive.  [This feels somewhat like us on earth being able to view stars that are so far that they have died by the time their light reaches us on earth. Indeed it feels very much like that!] Maybe that is what prayer is … sending out gratitude to who-knows-where….

See it on

jaina mishra

Wovensouls Antique Textile & Art Gallery







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This entry was posted on June 23, 2019 by in Art Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , , , , , .


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