Calendar Pages -- Tribal Weaving of the Lesser Sunda Islands Pre-Cruise & Cruise with David and Sue Richardson

December 24th, 2015 to May 19th, 2016

Tribal Weaving of the Lesser Sunda Islands Pre-Cruise & Cruise with David and Sue Richardson

Tribal Weaving of the Lesser Sunda Islands Pre-Cruise & Cruise  with David and Sue Richardson0

Tribal Weaving of the Lesser Sunda Islands Pre-Cruise & Cruise

 with David and Sue Richardson

The diverse Lesser Sunda Islands, stretching eastwards from Bali, offer the most amazing landscapes and a glorious cornucopia of weaving for textile lovers. Here women not only continue to make their traditional cloth on back-tension looms but continue to wear it as well. There is kaleidoscopic variety of patterns and designs – every region of every island has its own unique textile culture, its own style of dress, and its own motifs. Together we will explore the extraordinary ancestral traditions of these islands where textiles are the predominant form of artistic expression, still playing a central role in every significant stage of life, especially marriage and death. Some islanders tell us, “Without cloth we cannot marry.”
However, change is underway in even the remotest villages, and weavers are no longer passing on their skills to the next generation. With this cruise, we will be given a unique opportunity to witness a dying art form before it is gone forever.
We will enjoy the luxury of cruising effortlessly from island to island, crossing a rugged, isolated region where travel by land can be difficult. Our graceful pinisi schooner, the Ombak Putih, offers us access to villages and beaches that would otherwise be almost impossible to reach. Along the way there will be time to enjoy the amazing volcanic scenery, meet the villagers, visit traditional markets, buy local textiles, swim and snorkel over psychedelic coral reefs, relax and have fun. This is a fantastic, adventurous way to travel, providing memories that guests will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Our British expert textile guides, David and Sue Richardson, look forward to introducing guests to each island, its people and its culture, while sharing their knowledge on the day-to-day excursions as well as through a series of evening talks.
Note: This cruise embarks from Maumere, Flores and ends at Labuan Bajo, Flores. Airfares to and from Flores are not included in the tour package. The SeaTrek office will be happy to assist you with any information and flight reservations.
In conjunction with this cruise, we are offering an exclusive, optional, three-day, pre-cruise tour, which travels by land through remote parts of Flores to visit Lio weavers and the three, colour-changing volcanic crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu. This includes a stay at the lovely Kelimutu EcoLodge.

Pre - Cruise Summary

There are many “must see” weaving highlights in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia but not all of them are accessible by boat. We therefore want to offer our guests a three-day pre-cruise option to visit these villages overland, see an interesting Lio weaving cooperative close to the city of Ende, and visit a traditional mountain village.
Why not get into the swing of our Textile Cruise early, by joining us to explore a beautiful part of the rugged Ende Regency that even visitors to the Kelimutu Crater Lakes never get to see? Sign up for our three-day pre-cruise option, for which we will be using the modern, conveniently situated, Kelimutu Ecolodge at Moni as our base.
As a group we will travel by land to some of the more remote villages on the island of Flores, where you will witness natural dyeing techniques, have opportunities to buy textiles from the villagers, taste local culinary favourites and see the famous towering Kelimutu volcano with its three, multi-coloured crater lakes. At the end of the three days we will join our seabound home, the Ombak Putih, in port at Maumere.
Note: This pre-cruise special begins in Ende, Flores. Flights from Bali to Ende are included in the tour package and will be booked by the SeaTrek office. Guests on the pre-cruise will have rooms reserved for them at the Kelimutu Ecolodge.

Day 1
After arriving in Ende on the early morning flight from Bali we will drive to the nearby district of Ndona to visit a small cooperative, where a group of Lio weavers are producing naturally dyed cloth. Returning to the city of Ende, we will make a short visit to the vibrant local market. At the halfway point on our journey to Moni we will leave the highway to visit a dramatically situated mountain village where, after a welcome by local schoolchildren, we will enjoy our packed lunch. We will then be shown around this fascinating village with its interesting carvings by some of the mosa laki (traditional leaders). We will arrive at Kelimutu Ecolodge in time for a rest before getting together for welcome drinks and a pre-dinner lecture – the perfect opportunity to share all that we have seen today and prepare for tomorrow.
Day 2
This morning we will head south on a narrow scenic road to the remote weaving village of Nggela, stopping along the way for photographs over the spectacular Mbuli Valley. The traditional boat-shaped village of Nggela has two rows of tall thatched houses facing each other across a central area dotted with stone tombs. The local Lio weavers produce some of the best quality ikat in the Ende Regency. Although the use of commercial cotton is now almost universal and many weavers have adopted synthetic dyes, we will still get to see examples of naturally dyed cloth and the ceremonial ‘lawo butu.’ We will enjoy a simple packed lunch and the villagers will brew us some of their local coffee. After exploring some of the traditional houses there will be plenty of time for textile shopping. This evening we will enjoy a traditional feast and cultural performance.
Day 3
An early start today as we take a scenic drive up the side of the volcano to the car park at the entrance to Kelimutu National Park. From here it is a pleasant 30-minute-walk through woodland to the first viewpoint over the spectacular three-coloured crater lakes. Climbing the 236 steps up to the furthest viewpoint will give us a good appetite for the breakfast awaiting us back at the Ecolodge. We will then drive through yet more beautiful scenery on the way to Maumere Harbour, boarding the Ombak Putih in time for a late lunch.

More Information

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