The Indonesian archipelago stretches across a distance greater than from San Francisco to New York, has 18,000 islands, 350 distinct cultures, and is the fourth largest country in the world by population. Contradictory factors have helped to shape Indonesia: on one hand, Indonesia’s position along major exploration, military, and trade routes has resulted in contact with diverse cultures for hundreds of years. On the other hand, the geography and difficult terrain of the island nation have allowed each island to retain its cultural integrity and distinctive characteristics.
Many generations of women in these islands have blended these diverse influences with a wide variety of motifs, techniques and materials into traditional textiles.
Handmade and one-of- a-kind, these textiles are expressions of the spiritual and cultural values of the weaver and her community. Each may take months, or even years, to complete. On display here you will see textiles that reflect each artist’s impressive skill and patience in creating a unique piece that has profound cultural and religious significance.