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The Tenapi Muko Tahakang or Ripe Banana Sarong of the Dengwahi Lineage, Umapura Village

***Background information about Umapura Village is in the August 18, 2020 story


We continue to explore the ritual garments of the eight patrilineages of Umapura Village, Ternate Island of Alor Regency, Indonesia. Both men and women of the Alurung ethnic group wear tubular sarongs as traditional attire. We see men less than women in these garments as their daily attire, but both return to traditional clothing when they must display their patrilineage membership.

The tenapi muko tahakang or “ripe banana” tube skirt represents the Dengwahi patrilineage or suku. This garment consists of two panels with a reddish-brown background. The weaver uses dried morinda roots to produce this color, but pre-dyed threads are a substitute when natural dyed are unavailable.

Bold yellow stripes are the identifying characteristic of the tenapi muko tahakang. Generally, these stripes are composed of yellow, green, and, sometimes, orange threads. A group of these stripes flanks three rows of warp ikat dashes on each panel. A grouping contains only two rows of warp ikat and occurs at the middle sean where the panels are sewn together to form a garment.

A different combination of yellow or yellow and greens stripes adorns each panel, alternating with the first type.

Another characteristic of a tenapi muko tahakang is that the selvages forming the top and bottom edges are composed of yellow warp threads. The color was created using turmeric dye.


Written by Yulianti Peni and Linda S. McIntosh



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