Tewuni Rai Savu - Bridewealth bag / tas kenoto
The bridewealth bag is filled with ingredients for betel chew and brought by the groom to the bride's family; there it is kept by the bride’s father as a material proof of the marriage. In a society with no written tradition this equates to a marriage certificate. Knowledge about the peculiar weaving technique of the Savunese bridewealth bag was on the verge of disappearing in 1998 when a photo from the archives of the National Museum of Ethnology in the Netherlands was brought to the island. Efforts by weavers in the hamlet of Ledetadu over several years once again allowed production of this very special bag. The same warp threads run through the body and the handle which makes it very sturdy although it never has to carry a heavy load. However a few threads have been cut and twisted so that the handle is not too wide. The bag belongs to the group of textiles with continuous warp and no empty space. This very ancient weaving technique has been documented on sarongs found on Sulawesi and dated 15th to 17th C. So far no similar technique for weaving a bag has been found in Indonesia.
The bridewealth bag kept at the Museum in Leiden has stripes and no ikat patterns. Here the weaver adapted the bag to current fashion and it can be used as shoulder bag. The motif patola kewore is derived from a pattern represented on an Indian trade cloth. In the past only noble women of the moiety Greater Blossom (Hubi ae) were allowed to wear this pattern.
About the history and revival of the bridewealth bag, kenoto, see:
Dyer and eaver: Rut Lay
Technique: warp ikat, warp face weave on back tension loom
Material: Natural dyes: indigo and morinda citrifolia commercial cotton
Dimension : 33 x 30 cm strap3 cm x 44 cm
Color :Blue, blue-black, red