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People without history in eastern Indonesia, powerful or powerless?

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Geneviève Duggan will speak about the role of hand-woven cloths in important life crisis ceremonies of Savu culture.

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People without history in eastern Indonesia, powerful or powerless?

A talk by Dr Geneviève Duggan

Societies with no written traditions are said to have no history. This has been the case for many outer islands in Indonesia which for too long were neglected by historians who considered them insignificant.

The inhabitants of the island of Savu in the Lesser Sundas have been known as the ‘people-who-do-not-eat’ which classified them as ‘primitive’. This intrigued Geneviève Duggan who three decades ago decided to study the culture of Savu and discovered, its peculiar lifestyle embedded in very ancient traditions where important life crisis ceremonies are the responsibility of women whose intangible power reside in hand-woven cloths produced for the occasion. Where a stranger sees only a piece of textile, the informed insider through the power of memory sees and feels the power of the cloth.

Geneviève Duggan started to research the culture of the island of Savu in the province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) while living in Indonesia. She initially explored the weaving traditions of the island which became the subject of her MA obtained in 1998 (University of Heidelberg) and published under the title, Ikats of Savu, women weaving history in eastern Indonesia, (White Lotus, 2001). Her PhD thesis ‘Memory processes on the island of Savu’ (National University of Singapore) received the 2009 NUS Wang Gungwu Award and the Ananda Rajah Prize. She is currently living in Singapore.

Most recent publications:

2015. ‘Tracing Ancient Networks; Linguistics, Hand-woven Cloths and Looms in Eastern Indonesia’ in Qin Dashu and Yuan Jian (eds) Ancient silk trade routes. Singapore: World Scientific: 53-83.

2016. Heritage weaving: tense present and uncertain future. In Textiles Asia Vol 7, issue 3:16-24. (co-authored with Ice Tede Dara).

2017. Une note au sujet de tissages à chaîne continue dans l’Est de l’Insulinde. A note about hand-woven cloths with a continuous warp in eastern Indonesia. Paris: Archipel 93, p. 119-132. https://journals.openedition.org/archipel/408

2018. Savu. History and oral tradition on an island of Indonesia. NUS Press (co-authored with Hans Hägerdal).

This event is free for OATG members.

Non-members are kindly asked to make a donation (£3 suggestion) via the OATG PayPal account.

The Zoom- link for the event will be sent ca.48 hours before the event to registered attendees. The talk will be recorded and available to OATG members later on.

The talk will be followed by a discussion, you are welcome to post your questions in the chat during and after the talk.

Images:

P1040120 A boy and his rooster at a ritual cockfight

P 1070013 Rebuilding a ritual house.

P1060830 A man tapping the sap of the lontar palm tree


		People without history in eastern Indonesia, powerful or powerless? image

		People without history in eastern Indonesia, powerful or powerless? image
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