Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea
September 7, 2014–January 4, 2015
Women on the island of Timor weave some of the most colorful and varied textiles in Southeast Asia. These cloths are a primary vehicle of cultural expression, and they continue to be made, used, and exchanged in ways that reveal deep social, religious, historical, and political meanings. Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea is the first major exhibition to focus on Timor’s rich textile arts. It showcases fifty beautifully dyed and intricately patterned cloths, including many from the Fowler Museum, which maintains one of the world’s most complete and best-documented collections of Timorese textiles. The exhibition integrates material from West Timor, which is a part of Indonesia, and the new nation of Timor-Leste (East Timor). While the recent tragic history of the region has promoted separate identities for the two halves of the island, this project highlights shared themes that are important in the lives of people of all of the diverse cultural groups on both sides of the border.