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Photo: Bentenan Cloth
Sulawesi Utara
Bentenan Cloth

Bentenan Cloth

[2015-08-10 13:16:58, view 2743]

Minahasa tribe, in North Sulawesi - Indonesia, around 7th century had begun creating traditional clothing. They used thread such as of bark fiber. The bark fiber was taken from several trees such as from Lahendong and sawukouw tree. It is called Fuya. There were also thread from pineapple and a species of banana called Koffo. Beside Fuya and Koffo, there was also thread called wa'u. Wa'u was made of bamboo. 8 centuries later, Minahasa people start using cotton to replace the first materials. Then, they called the creation Bentenan Ikat Weaving.

Bentenan actually is a village in South East Minahasa. It is situated by the beach at sunrise direction of the island. The ikat weaving was first created here. This type of ikat could only be found around Ratahan area before it disappeared. That is why we call it Bentenan Ikat Weaving. Later, this ikat weaving was reinvented and the tradition goes on from there. In its time, this Bentenan Ikat had was valued highly by people.

There are seven motifs of Bentenan cloth. First one is called Tonilama. Tonilama is a cloth made of white thread. Tonilama simply means white cloth. Second is Sinoy. Sinoy is colorful and ribbed cloth. Third is Pinatikan, it has motifs of nets and hexagonal. This is also the first motif that was woven in Minahasa. Next, forth is Tinompak Kuda. It simply means recurring any motif. Fifth is Tinoton Mata. It is cloth with figures of human being. Sixth is Kaiwu Patola. This is a cloth with motif of Indian Python skin called patola. Last is Kokera, the motif has colorful flowers with embroidered beads.

Last creation that was found before 1977 can be found in National Museum, Jakarta, Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, Museum voor Land-an Volkenkunde, Rotterdam, Museum fur Volkenkunde, Frankfurt-am-Main, Ethnographical Museum, Dresden, Indonesich Ethongrafisch Museum, Delft. After the reinvention, now Bentenan Ikat can be found again in North Sulawesi.