Do Clothes Make the Man?

Full panel title

Do Clothes Make the Man? New Studies in Indonesian Textiles


Roy W. Hamilton (University of California Los Angeles)

Date and time

Double session

13 August, 09:00 – 10:30
13 August, 11:00 – 12:30


Room 50


Session I

  • Seamless Cloths—A Link between Societies of Eastern Indonesia?
    Genevieve Duggan (Independent Scholar)
  • Cloth of Ibanic groups in West Kalimantan and Sarawak
    Traude Gavin (Independent researcher)
  • Malaka Regency, Timor: Cloth of the Plain, Cloth of the Hills
    Roy Hamilton (University of California Los Angeles)
  • Mobility and the Construction of Meaning of Ceremonial Clothes in Sahu, Halmahera
    Leontine Visser (Wageningen University

Session II

  • Ikats for Others: Textile Production in the Offshore Islands in Pantar Strait, Alor
    Emilie Wellfelt (Linnaeus University)
  • Thinking through the Luka Sema: Complex Ways of Being (Trans)Local in Flores
    Willemijn de Jong (University of Zurich)

Discussant: Traude Gavin (Independent researcher)

Panel abstract

In popular imagination, differences in locally produced textiles are widely held to correlate with broad distinctions between ethnolinguistic groups—that is, each group of people (defined by culture or language) makes or uses its own styles of cloth, which in turn play a role in the formulation of the identity of the group. Recent research in Indonesia and neighboring areas is showing that this is far too simplistic. In this double panel, seven speakers will examine various, more complex ways in which the distribution of textile styles reflects historical and genealogical relationships among social groups.

Most speakers will discuss the results of recent field research in regions that are currently underrepresented or absent from the textile literature, including Alor, Timor, Maluku, and West Kalimantan. Two speakers explore similarities found across regions.