The Traditional Costume of Rote Tribe Skip to main content

The Traditional Costume of Rote Tribe

In addition to having a beautiful beach, Rote also has traditional costume such as other tribes in Indonesia. Rote customary clothing is identical to the weaving and gold metal, it is estimated since the history of Rote tribe already know the technology of weaving. Rote people make woven fabrics from the gewang fiber material, the weave is produced in the form of a holster called Lambi Tei and a blanket called Lafe Tei.

Women's Traditional Costume of Rote Tribe

Traditional Costumes of the Rote women consist of short sleeve kebaya and woven fabrics as their subordinates. Woven fabrics are made of warp yarn that is spun in traditional loom. The Rote tribe women also wore a shawl or commonly called a Lotis woven cloth on the shoulder.

Lotis Rote


Lotis is a blend of woven cloth with embroidery style, looks similar to songket weaving, where the yarn must be colored first. Lotis weaving craftsmen will usually do two jobs at once, namely weaving and embroidering some motives, so that in one cloth will look like a three-dimensional motif because the stitches are rather prominent out. In addition, the Rote wamen also uses jewellery such as the moon of Molik, Habas and Pending.

Bulak Molik Rote

bulan molik rote
Model by Dina "Princess of Rote"

The Rote tribe women used crescent-shaped jewellery and a star called the Bulak MolikBulak Molik is a moon-shaped with three stars. Bulak Molik means the new moon, this shape is inspired by a person from the moon and star formations from the sky. The Bulak Molik is worn on the head adorned neatly-lined hair. These jewels are made of gold, brass, silver and bronze.

Habas Rote

Habas rote

Habas is known and taught in generations so that for people who find it unknown. Habas is an ornament on the neck and worn during the traditional event by the Rote tribe women.

Pending Rote

Pending jewelry is made of brass, copper, silver and gold and is commonly applied to the waist of women when using traditional costume as a fixture of traditional costume.

Pending this is known from ancestors and Pending this is usually done by the Ndao people, according to Ndao people Pending is also called Peni. If the craftsmen in the city are out then they will bring tools such as Hamar, chisel and other carving tools. Pending is done by ancestors in hereditary and made of materials such as copper, brass, gold and silver.

Men's Traditional Costume Rote tribe

The Rote men of today are already using a long white shirt with a distinctive cloth woven of Rote Island. What makes this outfit very iconic is the use of a large hat-cap that is similar to the sombrero from Mexico, this gopi named Ti'i Langga.

Ti'i Langga Hat Rote

Now, Ti'i Langga in the form of a hat with wide edges, side facing upwards. With a horn-like "antenna" that is 40 cm (16 inches) tall, it is attached to the front. The color can be plain or painted dyes. Thy'i Langga made by weaving the leaves of a young lontar or Latin name of Borassus Flabellifer.

ti'i langga rote

The antenna on the Ti'i Langga is believed to be inspired from antennas on Portuguese hats. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to try to control the spice trade in the Indonesian archipelago through colonisation in the early 16th century.

The edges of the Ti'i Langga consist of a double layer of woven palms, so strong. It is woven in such a way as to give the impression of such a cut from its sides. This is referred to as evidence of how the indigenous people of Rote imitated the European headgear. In the European head cover the shape is caused by material demands, while on the hat in Rote the shape is imitated without cause. It shows the ability of observation by the Rote people as well as skill in imitating with limited means. Why this impersonation only occurs in Rote and not on other islands visited by the Portuguese or Spanish remains unexplainable.

The Ti'i Langga hat – especially its antenothes – has evolved from its origin. Early 20th-century photographs do not necessarily show the Ti'i Langga with a horn-like antenna. Many Ti'i Langga exhibit odd-shaped antennas. It can be said of this as an attempt to create variations of the form of a European head-cover antenna (e.g. hats or helmets) using the available materials (Lontar leaves). The photographs also show the presence of a plain-designed langga Ti'i without an antenna.

Usually, the Ti'i Langga hat is used when playing the traditional music instrument of NTT namely Sasando. This hat is also worn by the Rote tribe women at a certain time, for example when playing the indigenous dance of NTT called Tari Foti.

Rote Tribal Weaving Fabrics

Traditional woven fabrics have significance in the lives of East Nusa Tenggara people, including Rote tribe. In the past, the ability to weave has a connection with the proper presence of a woman to be candidate by a young man, because the Rote tribe of a woman's maturity is not only determined by the age alone. The maturity is measured by the girl's ability in tying motifs, dyeing, and weaving. If it can be fulfilled, then the girl is worthy to prepare for the life of the home.

rote traditional costume

Woven fabrics are not only to fulfill the need for daily clothing, but more than that, woven fabrics have an important role in every aspect of traditional people's life. As in relation to customary marriages, and ceremonies of death. In the marriage of woven fabrics are used as the completeness of bridal clothing, goods (fill crates), and cover the place of the betel nut at the ceremony of girls. In connection with the ceremony of death, the weaving cloth besides used to seal the litter, weaving cloth is also shown at the bottom of the house ceiling closes the bunk beds.

Woven fabrics also as determinants of one's social status. In the past people of Rote tribe as elsewhere in East Nusa Tenggara, recognize the social status of a person based on the position and level of living prosperity, there are nobility, king, Fetor, ordinary people, rich, poor, and so on. In relation to this social stratification, the use of woven cloth with a variety of decorative tertehtu become determinant of one's social status. Like woven fabrics for kings, nobility, warlords, there are woven fabrics that are specially worn by Fetor, and there are fabrics that are specially worn by ordinary people. Nowadays the use of woven fabrics no longer refers to a person's social status. Special weaving fabrics are used at ceremonies. Traditional ceremonies, the reward for the groom's dowry, the parcel of women, and an economic object that can contribute to raising family income.

Variety Ornamental Costume Weaving of Rote Tribe

Rote-Ndao is a weaving area that has a variety of motives. The division of the Nusak or small kingdoms during the reign of the Kings apparently brought a distinction in some aspects, which enriched the culture of the Rote-Ndao people.

The difference is seen in the language and dialects, woven motif, and the name given to the weaving produced as well as the Bilba in eastern Rote region called the holster Dengon namo Po, Orang Dengka in West Rote called the name Lani/Lambik, The Ndao referred to the name Rabi or Rampi.

Besides the inclusion of the outer nation to Rote Island gave new inspiration for the Weavers in the development of existing ornamental forms. The motif of Jelamprang, Tumpal/shoots Redude that became the specificity of the fabric patola from Lndia, also affects the development of the weaving motif of Rote Island; As well as the Tenunan Sika, Sabu, Ende-Lio, and so on.

Rote-Ndao Woven motif is formed by the same basic motif, which is geometric decoration developed by each group of weavers to become forms that have the belief and philosophy of living group of the groups. As it is known, the geometric Motif is the oldest motif known since the pre history. This Motif was initially developed in the country of China, spread to the region of Asia Tengggara, and entered into the archipelago brought by the immigrants who came in two waves of exodus.

In Rote-Ndao geometric motifs are developed into the form of plants, tree leaves, poultry, and marine animals. Each sub-ethnic has a specification that gives Cirri/identity for the ethnic-ethnic in Rote-Ndao, as seen in the weaving motif of central Rote to the RoteTimur (Kekasampe Oepao) His woven motif is a subtle flower better known by the name "motif Nanelu Do = leaf sour. There is also a pattern of Rote Tengyang called Ai Bunak.

Rote-Ndao woven fabric when seen in a glance flashdoes not have a significant difference between one ethnicity and another ethnic. But when examined, the difference lies in the development of geometric motifs into large and small flowers. The use of dye yarn motif on the field of eastern Rote's casing uses red color above the base color of brown blackish. Western Rote weave is generally dominated by white yarn in the base color of black and brown blackish. Besides, the use of the name or term given to the forms of weaving produced between one ethnic with other ethnic

One thing that is interesting in the weaving of Rote-Ndao Ikat is from the distinction-the small differences in each form of weaving produced between ethnic, there is one similarity is for each man blanket of all sub-ethnic, at the end There is a variety of stacked/shoots bamboo shoots, known as the motive patola or flower edges. Whether the use of this motive because of an agreement between the Chiefs of the tribes or the kings of the past Nusak, or as a form of adaptation of the Weavers against the of elements influences that enter the Rote-Ndao region.

It is not known for sure what the meaning behind the presence of this ornamental variety on the end of Rote-Ndao man blanket. But by looking at the social life among ethnic groups in the Nusa Lontar, the motif of Pucuk redude/Ujung flower is likely to give meaning to the value of the order and the sense of family that in between citizens from the eastern end to the western end of Rote Island, Ndao, Nuse, and other small Pulaupulau. This Motif, there is an outside world, that the however Rote Ndao was formed from 17 ethnic groups, but they remained one as residents of the Nusa Lontar residents.

Rote today's Fabric Weaver

Today on Rote Island mothers who used to be weaving work as one of the jobs that helped the economy of the family, and fulfill the needs of clothes that are worn in every traditional ceremony, today is hardly done again. Mothers tend to help husbands work in gardens and paddy fields, as well as the cultivation of seaweed that is felt more profitable than working on a piece of weaving.

The interesting thing about this change is, the work of weaving today is only a fundamental role of Ndao women. When the other tribes need woven fabrics, they only order in the Ndao, and the Ndao also work on the woven to order. In relation to ordering woven fabrics, usually the buyer only give a picture motif, or mention the type of motive desired. The impact of the changes is that the basic values of weaving that used to have the main function as a cultural object used in customary affairs, today are preferred in economic function. In relation to this function, the Rote-Ndao weaving fabrics in various forms, and the decorative works of the Ndao women to be an attractive display

Another effect of shifting values on ikat weaving is that the weavers no longer use cotton yarn and traditional dyes, on the grounds that the materials and technology are only valid past and do not apply to the present. Besides, when using traditional materials and technology, the manufacturing process is long and complicated. They are more likely to use the store yarn and dye nephtol. The decorative works also mimic the pictures of the book, or the creation itself, as a result of adaptation to the natural environment. So that the meaning contained behind the signs of the emblem no longer refers to the basic conception containing a particular message.

The current weavers no longer understand the implied meaning behind the decorative varieties of weave. This is due to the main purpose of making woven fabrics no longer referring to basic concepts as objects made due to the demands of customs and culture, but preferably on economic demands. Nowadays, the role of the industry in developing lkat weaving that is economical value is large enough. Kampung Ndao-Namokdale Village-Kota Ba'a, the center of handicraft weaving. The Weavers are the Ndao women. They were given training, until they attended internships to several cities in the archipelago region.


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