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tribaltextiles.info • View topic - Inspired by Kedit’s article: 5 pua with engkaramba

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Location: Kuching, Malaysia
A catalogue published by the Dallas Museum very recently of which I had contributed a chapter on Iban textiles to. Some very nice textiles.

http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book ... 0300184952

http://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Ancestors-Is ... 0300184956


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:15 pm 
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For good measure, here's a piece that should look familiar...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:25 pm 
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For those on facebook, I am reachable at . Follow my 'journey' there. My blog/website has come to a grinding halt. So much to do, so little time to go online and do it!

Goodnight all. More later.

Vernon


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:53 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:19 am 
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Greetings John!

I was very excited to see this pua kumbu which you showed in the earlier part of this thread. Can you tell me as much as you know about how you got it please? As you can see, it is almost identical to the one I posted above. And I may just have some information that would make you excited too.

Best,

Vernon


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:33 am 
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Another serendipitous moment!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:04 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:10 am 
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Back row: Mary Magdalene Jolly (my mom, seven months pregnant with me, so technically I'm in the photo) and Sendi (great-grandma).
Front row: Selaka and Ivory Kedit (my granddad).

Taken at the steps of Stambak Ulu in 1967. Sendi was Mengan's eldest daughter, and Selaka was Sendi's aunt, although they were not very far apart in age as Mengan's mother (Mindu) had several sons before Selaka, her next daughter, was born. Mengan married early and gave birth to Sendi not long after Selaka was born.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:12 am 
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A photograph of Selaka surrounded by her masterpieces; one behind her and one on the floor.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Vernon

I have been holding my breath hoping that you would indeed continue coming back to the forum and explain to us the wonderful puzzle of the twin (but not quite identical twin) pua kumbus. Thank you SO very much! ....and what a fantastically detailed explanation and so brought to life by the photos! From a forum perspective I could not wish for a better, more detailed or more enthralling denouement!

I, of course, recognise so much of your family tree and they are part of my conciousness.

Thank you so very much for sharing this with all of us.

I know, for you, it will be a sadness that Selaka's pua has 'escaped' from the family collection. However, I cannot think of a more worthy or appreciative custodian and how wonderful it is to be able to share the glory of these master weavers in this way! I love it that the family signature is so clear. It is also special that, via the web, it is possible to bring the two textiles together and see them side-by-side across time, continents and oceans. Indeed, a magnificent virtual gallery!

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:53 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:18 pm 
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Dear Vernon

Thank you for your kind and clearly heartfelt words about the forum!

First, dare I hope that you will keep an eye on it a little more regularly in future to make sure that no other family heirlooms are surfacing :wink:

Yes, I would very much like it if 'our' paper could be finished. I certainly think of it as 'our' paper even if you have all the hard work of writing it and I had the privilege of undertaking the physical research. I think some of my photos have found their way onto the BM website as I was checking the entry a few days ago and was very pleased to see that some excellent ( :D ) detail photos seem to have appeared! It would be so good if more contextual information could also be added!

I have not been at all surprised that you have turned to politics as it is, after all, in your blood or, in the fashion of the day, I should say that it is in your DNA. I wish you every success in this career although I continue to hope for a little 'balance' which allows us here on the forum to remain at least a small part of your life. I know that when you do something you give it your all and focus the full force of your energies and talents on the matter in hand. However, do listen to 'Auntie Pamela' who has learnt the hard way just how important it is to have some balance in life!

Thank you very much for giving such a clear statement about Iban convention in the case of John's custodianship of this particular example of Selaka's skill.

All the very best,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:32 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Here's a close-up of the enclosure made up entirely of pua kumbu with a slight opening on the other side where only the womenfolk would enter and, as it were, 'keep watch' for three days and three nights. The women would take shifts, but the widow (if the deceased was male) would not leave the enclosure until the burial early on the fourth morning. The other women would comfort her, or the close female relatives (if the deceased was female). Women who could chant would 'cry' and chant the praises of the deceased upon arriving at the longhouse and after entering the enclosure to pay their respects, and would take inspiration from the textiles that make the enclosure because the designs on these textiles would often reflect the social standing of the deceased. The chanting could take as short as five minutes to an extended 20 minutes, depending on the prowess of the chantress. On the third night of the wake, the services of a professional wailer (ALWAYS female) would be employed and she would 'guide' the soul of the deceased from the land of the living to the land of the dead. The chant recounting the journey averages between 3 to 4 hours, depending on the social status of the deceased. The wailer would sit within the enclosure by herself, and the slight opening would be closed. It is at this pivotal and climactic moment in the entire wake that the gods and goddesses are said to be present WITHIN the enclosure to accompany the soul of the deceased back to the land of the dead, and the textiles that make up the enclosure come to live (or rather, are embued with supernatural power) to do their work in creating a sacred space that would protect the wailer, welcome the deities and keep harm at bay. Besides the 'cry' of the wailer (and these days, clip microphones and loudspeakers aid in augmenting the chanting so that the entire longhouse may hear it), one could hear a pin drop in between the pauses. It is a most reverent experience.

This practice, I am glad to report, is very much alive and well in the Saribas, and the choicest pieces are still kept and passed down as heirlooms, for use at such life-crises events in the community.


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