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Jakarta Post

Sumba on show in Bali

  • Trisha Sertori

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 30 2012   /  06:47 am

By hand: Francesca Kay (right) with one of her hand dyed, hand loomed ikats. These take five months to create, yet sell for less than US$150, earning Francesca just a dollar a day.Floating in the Savu Sea at the feet of Sumbawa and Flores is the remote island of Sumba.

Its distance from Indonesia’s major population and tourism centers of Java and Bali has protected Sumba’s ancient culture and traditions; Sumba is the only place in the world that still has megalithic burial practices and much of the population still holds to the Marapu animist belief system of ancestral worship.

The story of this faith that dates back millennia is written in the weavings and sculptures of Sumba, according to 55-year-old Umbu Charma, a Sumbanese living in Bali and taking part in the “Many Cultures of Sumba — Charm of the Pasola Horse” exhibition of Sumba arts at the Bentara Budaya G...