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"Small Eyes" Sarong or Tenapi Matang Karing


The Tenapi Matang Karing represents membership in the Suku Uma Aring or Younger/Youngest Brother patrilineage of the Alurung ethnic group, Umapura Village of Ternate Island, Alor Regency. (A summary of the Alurung of Umapura is provided in the story dated 18 August 2020.) The Alurung ethnic group organizes into patrilineages or suku, and eight suku compose in Umapura’s society. Membership in a suku is distinguished by wearing a tenapi or tubular garment with a distinctive format such as the tenapi matang karing symbolizing the Suku Uma Aring.

Characteristics of the Tenapi Matang Karing or a tube skirt covered with “small eyes” patterns called little flowers (peku-peku) or broken sirih fruit (malu gilu) are:


1. It is composed of two panels with a morinda red ground.

2. Numerous rows of warp ikat dashes called peku-peku (little flowers) or malu gilu (broken sirih fruit) decorate both fabric panels.

3. Bright stripes, especially purple and pink, separate the bands of warp ikat.

4. The primary bands of warp ikat are located near the top and bottom of the skirt.

5. Secondary warp ikat rows are adorned with various patterns such as tapo lolong or coconut tree fronds, tena or boats, and kago no eking or an undulating line depicting intertwining bodies or solidarity. The weaver is free to select the motifs to fill these bands.


Variations of the tenapi matang karing include increasing the number of bands containing warp ikat dashes.


Written by Linda S. McIntosh and Yulianti Peni



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