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Indonesia: SE Bali–Double Ikat Weavers, Basketmakers, Natural Dying plus a resort and a beach town

The third part of the tour was in SE Bali. We stayed at a lovely resort, Alila Manggis,  with an Indonesian chef (unusual in upscale restaurants) who I heard had been named the best chef in the country though their website doesn’t mention that.

The butterfly is alive–it landed on the centerpiece during our farewell dinner.

But we didn’t come here for the food or even the spa, we were in this part of the island because the famous ancient traditional village of the Bali Aga people, Tenganan, is nearby. Tenganan is the only place in the country making double ikat. The village is also an attraction because of the Bali Aga heritage: these are the original inhabitants of Bali–the majority population having migrated from Java centuries later–with different traditions including architecture and customs which Tenganan retains. Outsiders are not allowed to live there–if a village native marries out they must leave.

Ikat is a patterned weaving, the pattern coming from the pre-dying of either the weft (the part strung on the loom) or the weft (the yarn passed back and forth over and under the warp). In double ikat both weft and warp are dyed. It’s extremely complicated to dye the pattern (it is a resist technique, the portion of the yarn to not be dyed is wrapped to keep the dye off; there can be multiple colors meaning multiple tying and dying) and tedious to make sure the weft is in exactly the right spot (register) for the pattern to come out right.

The town itself was very interesting. In addition to the many homes with signs inviting the tourist in to see the weaving, there were other arts for sale. There was going to be a ceremony the next day for the anniversary of a death and a lunch was being prepared and then eaten by the people helping to prepare. And then there was just walking around a unique village

the shop on the right is one of many in the parking lot–this is a popular tourist attraction!

under the baskets are fighting cocks

they are carrying fuel–coal? charcoal?

these are offering for the ceremony

Nearby was a village specializing in baskets

bamboo strips are pulled thru successively smaller holes to strip it smaller and smaller for weaving

some baskets are smoked for the color

Farther east is Seraya home to the Karya Seni Warna Alam weavers’ cooperative where natural dying has been revived. In addition, the cooperative does very traditional weaving including the holy black and white checkered cloth.

the bark is peeled for dye; it needs the addition of lime to create red

boiling dye on the left, on the right an indigo dye pot

the indigo needs oxidation to develop the full blue color

this primitive cotton gin blew me away. So slow. I came home and looked up Whitney’s cotton gin. Really nothing like this one.

above the final step of spinning the cotton and on the right weaving the sacred black and white cloth

Drying rice cakes at the coop

And now a few photos from the rather sad beach town of Candi Dasa, the closest town to the resort. There are many guest houses and hotels as well as shops in the town but there has been significant beach erosion and so there is no longer a nice beach. I walked around one afternoon exploring and taking photos. Included are some photos from the town temple. I walked part way back to the resort; some of the prettiest shots are along that walk

these last three are at the local temple

Ending with a few photos that don’t fit anywhere special:

first from the Denpasar (Bali) airport, then the Bat Cave Temple where our driver stopped so he could make an offering–this is on the road to the Aliya resort and all the sites in this entry. Last a statute store we passed–not a great photo technically since it was taken out the window of a moving car

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