L-M BRIC News No. 12                     2009/07/24 © 2009

Loop-Manipulation Braiding Research and Information Center/Editor Masako Kinoshita
5 Winthrop Place, Ithaca, NY 14850 U. S. A

Phone &Fax +1 (607) 257-0886 e-mail mkinoshi@twcny.rr.com


L-M BRIC News No. 12
Home      Nihongo-ban No. 12     Bibliography      World distribution Map

 

 

Discovery of Another 17th Century Record from England

 

The following article was first published in Strands, Issue 12, 2008, the Braid Society's annual publication. Fortunately we are able to reprint it here by kind permission of Ms. Speiser and The Braid Society.

 

  

Initial Observations on "The Nun's Book"

 

Noémi Speiser

 

THE NUN'S BOOK - Directions for Weaving Watch Strings, (Editor's note 1) – was fortunately shown to members of the Braid Society when they visited the Pitt Rivers Museum, in Oxford in 2007. (Ed. note 2) It evidently belongs to the 17th century, has 42 recipes with 33 swatches and begins with charts for the alphabet. This is the thirteenth English Pattern Book for Loop-braiding which I have studied and analyzed since 1979. We have now a total of more than 500 recipes, some dating from the 15th century, some from the 17th century. I treated the first eleven pattern books in "Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding" (OEPB) where you can read about the immense differences between the 15th century and the 17th century texts. (Ed. note 3) Note that the 69 loop-braiding recipes in the later discovered printed book called "Nature Unbowelled", could, in spite of the printing date 1655, be classified as clearly belonging to the 15th century. (Ed. note 4)

Several years ago Joy Boutrup joined me in my research and she is keenly hunting for supplementary evidence in the shape of actual braids in different textile collections in order to compare them with the written evidence. We are also sure that more pattern books wait to be discovered in libraries or museum repositories.

 

I sorted out and used in OEPB six different groups of techniques and resulting structures:

- Twill oblique interlacing (OEPB IIA and IIIA)

- "Arme breadth", a distinctive variation of twill (OEPB IIIA 8)

- "Flaggon breadth", and other forms of unorthodox techniques and structures (OEPB IIIA 9)

- "Spanish Breadth", mixed interlacing (OEPB IIB, IIIB)

- Oblique twining in two or more sections and often with inversions (OEPB IID a, b, c, d)

- Crosswise exchange of loops, i.e. compact round braids (OEPB IIC)

 

Arme-breadth is present only in the 17th century, while twining and crosswise exchange appear only in the 15th century manuscripts with the newly discovered Nun's Book as the sole exception. There is one recipe for crosswise exchanging eight loops, and five recipes for twining. The twining recipes appear strangely all in sequence whilst usually the recipes are haphazardly mixed.

A letter braid with braided text is stitched to the top of a recipe to which it does not belong. The alphabet charts are different from the three contemporary charts in other manuscripts both in structure and content. Joy Boutrup will treat in depth all these charts and the verbal instructions for the letter braids in "European Loop-Braiding: Researches and Discoveries Part II" by Joy Boutrup and Noémi Speiser, an on-going series currently being edited and to be published by Jennie Parry. (ed. note 5)

Some curious peculiarities of the Nun's Book, similarities or discrepancies with the items we analysed earlier, will be treated in the next issue of Strands. And there the keen amateur will find a few nice explicit recipes.

<End of Speiser's contribution>

 

 

 

Loop Braiding in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia (3)

Sadan Toraja

Funerary Headbands, Pote, for Men

Keiko Kusakabe

 

<Contents>

Foreword

I.          Distribution and Characteristics of the Development of the L-m Braiding and the Course of My Survey

II.             Funerary Headbands, Pote, for Men Mourners

1.   About the Pote, Headwear for Funerary Rites

2.   Shapes and Composition of Men's Pote

3.   Regrouping of the Loops at Transition Areas

4.   Composition and Construction Process of Pote

(1)     Pote without a Ring on the Head End.

(2)     Pote with a Ring on the Head End.

III.            The Path to the Successful Recordings of the L-M Braid Pote

(1)        Visits to a Holder of the Heritage Pote Braiding at Rembon, 12/17/2005, and 12/22/2005.

(2)        Discovery of 18-element pote --- At the alk to dolo Funeral in Rembon, 12/23/2006.

(3)        "Braids for the Dead" at Saluputti, 12/16-17/2008.

a.    Two Holders of the Heritage Pote Braiding

b.    Recordings of the Double Square Braiding Procedures Using 9 and 11 Loops

IV. The Saluputti Method and the Interconnection Techniques

In Closing
(Photo: Granary / Alang)

 

Foreward

"Pote, Funerary Headbands in Sadan Toraja" is the subject of Series Three of the L-M Braiding in Mamasa and Sadan Toraja. (Ed. note 6) This presents the combined result of the earlier field research conducted in the months of 2-3, 8-9 and 12/2005, 12/2006, and 4/2007, and the recent trip in 10-12/2008, following the Series 2 report of 2007, "the Basic Technique and its application to the pull strings for sepu bags." It took over two years since the previous report.

 

The reasons that have made the collection of accurate data very difficult are: 1) non-Christian traditional funerals rarely take place nowadays when the customs of native religion, alk to dolo, have been abandoned or altered by having been absorbed into Christian teachings: 2) the majority of those who engaged in the traditional rituals are getting old or are deceased.

Despite these problems, I was able to realize a three-month-long concentrated survey trip in October to December of 2008, in which I succeeded in observing the braiding procedures of men's funerary headbands.


I.         Distribution and Characteristics of the Development of the L-m Braiding and the Course of My Survey 

Before coming to the main subject, I will outline the distribution pattern of the l-m braiding and the characteristics of its development in Tana Toraja Regency and Toraja Utara Regency. (Note 1) Table 1 and 2 show the combined results of the two surveys, i.e., one on the 3 months in 2008 and the other on earlier trips. (Ed. note 7)

#1) The braids made by the basic three procedures, square braids, 4-ridge twill flat braids and 2-ridge twin twill flat braids, have been observed all regions of Toraja. (Ed. note 8) It should be noted that the square-braid procedure using 7 loops was collected in the west region of Rembon (20) District. In November 2008, I also observed in Mamasa (square-braid) braiding using 4 and 8 loops in two separate areas. (Note 2) In Toraja no square-braid procedure other than with 5 and 7 loops came to my attention, however. Here, we should note that there exist in Mamasa and Toraja basically identical yet somewhat diverse construction factors for the basic braids.

#2) Special attention should be paid that in some areas of Toraja the methods of constructing double square braids (DSB) by connecting two (square) braids have developed differently.

We have found that DSBs using 10 loops were produced in the north Balusu District (7). On the other hand, in the south and western districts they were made using 9 loops. We also heard of a method using 11 loops in these districts.

The method of constructing a DSB by connecting two square braids by two workers each using 5 loops demonstrates a natural progression of technical development. (Note 3) On the other hand, the method of using the odd number of loops for constructing DSBs, represented in Part 2 of this series in 2006 was, I believe, the first on this subject. Speiser, meanwhile, searched later in 2006 over 250 braiding procedures from the English Pattern Books and found two for 4 hands using 9 loops. They, however, are not for DSB but for tubular braids. (Note 4)

Our subject here is about the DSBs made using 9 or 11 loops. We found funerary headbands that used DSBs made using 9 loops on my 2005 trip in the West region. The procedure for making these braids was successfully recorded for the first time during my survey of December 2008.

This type of braids, mangkabi to mate/the braids for the dead, were made exclusively for pote, funerary headbands. Accordingly pote are not products that are made by an individual or a group of people as gifts or merchandise. Braiders must produce pote in a prescribed environment as a member of a certain ritual community. In my opinion, development of this kind of ritualistic pote made using an odd number of loops might have been related to the history of the south region of Toraja that had been ruled under a united-chiefdom state with a strong hierarchical class system, in which chiefs are titled the Puang. (Note 5)

The 9-loop technique has spread to surrounding areas, North Buntao (3) that borders the South region, and West Rembon (20) and Saluputti (14). Braids made using 9 loops are also seen as draw strings of carrying pouches for chewing betel nuts/sepu.  The two Sepu found in South Sangalla District (23) and neighboring (North) Buntao (3) have draw strings of 8-ridge flat braids made using 9-loop 2-person method. In 2008, I attempted to record the procedure of a woman living in Buntao who remembered the technique. Throughout limited area of Toraja and Mamasa, I observed such a shift in the number of the loops for the two-person technique. Presumably, the braiding procedure of DSBs using an odd number of loops instead of even ones concerning the funeral custom has influenced the similar structural variation of draw strings for sepu. (Note 6)

As for the interconnection procedure of making DSBs using 10 loops, its existence was confirmed in north Balusu (7) and recorded. (Note 7) The procedure is similar to the one found earlier in the Balla District of Mamasa. (Ed. note 9) Incidentally, also confirmed in 2008 the existence of the procedures for both DSB and 8-ridge twill flat braid using 10 loops in Mamasa.

Table 1   Names of braids and braiding methods in Toraja
L-m braiding mangkabi
Multiple-connected braids mangkabi sitadoan
Square braids kalebu
Flat braids
papipang
Two-ridge twin braids dipiak

 Table 2   Braid names and the number of loops used for the braids in Toraja
number of braiders
number of loops
kinds of braids
regions (district)
1
5
square braids
4-ridge flat braids
2-ridge flat braids
all  regions
1
7
square braids
West Rb dist.
2
9
DSB

8-ridge flat braids
South Sg dist.; West Rb
and West Sp dist.
South Sg dist.; North Bt dist.
2
11
DSB
West Rb and
West Sp dist.
2
10
DSB,
8-ridge flat?
North Bl dist.
3
15
Lace,
12-ridge flat
North Bl dist.

(Notes)
sulawesi map 1. Survey results of up to 12/2008. The existence of braids has been ascertained either by: (A) Existence of actual braid specimens: (B) Existence of the plural number of informers and/or braiders including practicing as well as former braiders.
2. In listing cooperati
ve braiding, groups with the odd number of braiders precede that with the even number.
3. Region names (Numbers indicate the positions on the map.)
Rb/20 Rembon, Sg/23 Sangalla, Sp/14 Saluputti, Bt/3 Buntao, Bl/7 Balusu
4
DBuntao District, although it belongs to North, has received strong influences from South Sangalla District that borders it.

 

map 2(3) Buntao, (7) Balusu, (8) Sadan, (13) Kurra, (14) Ulusalu (Saluputti), (16) Bittuang,
(20) Malimbong (Rembon), (22) Makale, (23) Sangalla,
(24) Mengkendek.

Map source: G.Seinstra, 1940, THE SAfDAN TORAJAf p-5 by Hetty Nooy-Palm.
Mamasa: indicated by the author.

 






II. Funerary Headbands, Pote, for Male Mourners


1.       1. About the Pote, Headwears for Funerary Rites

The word pote means headbands for men as well as hoods for women. Male and female relatives of the deceased who must follow the taboo wear them at indigenous religious funerals. The man's pote is of an l-m braid made of cotton yarn. It is called pattalika or talika in the West Rembon (20) and Salputti (14) Districts, and beke in the South Sangalla District (23). Tali and beke both mean "string" (Note 8). The women's pote, on the other hand, is a hood shaped from a piece of woven cloth that ends with a cascade of slender l-m braids hanging from the hem. They are called pote rundung or pote lullung, likening them to female black hairs.

The life of Toraja people is centered on the West Ritual and the East Ritual that are pivotal to the two poles of the life and death cycle. Pote, for males and females, both are ritualistic textile objects that are made and used solely for the funeral rites, the West ritual. The composition of design and the number of loops for making braids are a part of the "taboo" and ruled by the social ranking of the funeral represented by the number of sacrificial buffalos. It is extremely difficult, however, to learn exact facts surrounding pote today when its production has long been abandoned.

   2. Shapes and Composition of Male Funerary Headbands, pote

Men's pote are headbands shaped of l-m braids. Each of the loops used for earlier specimens is made of 4 to 8 ends, or more, of strongly twisted double-ply hand-spun cotton yarn. For later products machine-spun combined cotton yarn is often used. Table 3 lists main characteristics of pote that I own or of those I observed on the field. On the earlier trips, I recorded 6 specimens (A-C, E-G). They are shaped from braids that have been made a bit larger than the circumference of a head and bound or sewn at several spots by overlapping the two ends.

On the trips in 2005 and later ones, I found pote with a small ring of a square braid or a DSB at the starting end. In these types, the tail end of the braid goes through the ring to form the pote. (Photo 5b) The six specimens, D, H-L, have different kinds of braids for the length following the head ring. They exemplify varieties of styles in pote. For the pote H, K and L in Table 3, for example, the DSB is first made in the center section of the length of the braiding yarn and then formed into a ring by joining the two ends of the braid. Accordingly, a DSB twice as thick is made using the joined loops regrouped into 9 loops. On the other hand, pote I and J, each has a DSB ring at the head that is directly followed by a cluster of square braids.

Pote A and those with a head ring have knobs on the areas where transition from one type of braid to another occurs. The knobs are also placed on the areas where numerous thin braids are bound and fixed together, which make them appear to be covers for the disheveled transition areas. At the same time, a fine mesh or beadwork covers their surface giving them decorative effects. Circularly worked simple looping stitches cover the knobs on our specimen. (Note 9) Two types of looping techniques were used to cover these knobs; one is circularly worked simple looping that formed tiny net-like sac that covers the knob, and the other is simple looping stitches (simple looping on a foundation fabric). (Note 10)

As seen above, pote with a ring at the head exemplifies a traditional form of highly developed craftsmanship of loop braiding and loop stitching. This type of workmanship declined since the end of the WWII when machine-spun yarns became more available and people no longer had to produce hand-spun yarns.
Since then, we more often see simpler pote such as B, C, E, F, and G.

Table 3 Methods of construction and composition for men's pote ; South and west areas of Toraja. 
pote #
regions where used color
head ring
kinds of braids and compositions element nomber of DSB
photos
A
?
blk
no
1 sqbr >>> 11 or more sqbr (10)
1a, 1b
B
W. K dist. nat
no 1 DSB (has an area of 4-ridge twin flat br.) >>> 22 sqbr + 1 non braided fringe 18

C
W. K dist. nat no 1 8-ridge twill tubular braid >>>10 sqbr 18

D
S. Md dist. blk yes
Sqbr ring >>> 1 sqbr >>> 8 2-ridge flat and 1 sqbr (10)

E
W. Rb dist. nat no 1 DSB 18
2
F
W. Rb dist. nat
no
1 DSB 18
G
S. Sg dist. blk no
1 DSB
18
H
S. Sg dist. blk yes DSB ring >>> 1 DSB >>> X sqbr 18? 3
I
S. M dist. blk yes DSB ring >>> 14 sqbr ?
4
J
S. M dist. nat yes DSB ring >>> 28 sqbr ?
5a, 5b
K
S. M dist. blk yes DSB ring >>> 1DSB >>> 26 sqbr ?
6
L
S. M dist. nat yes DSB ring >>> 1 DSB >>> 18 2-ridge flat 18?

(Notes)

1. The element numbers in parenthesis indicate that of the single thick square braid at the head.
2. The numbers that follow district names below matches the districts in the map:
K/14 Kurra, Md/24 Mengkendek, Rb/20 Rembon, Sg/23 Sangalla, M/22 Makale
@
3. Other abbreviations: S/south, W/west,
DSB/double square braid, sqbr/square braid, blk/black, Nat/color natural

 

3. Regrouping of the Loops at the Transition Areas from DSB to Other Braids

All pote with the head ring have transition areas where the DSB changes into square braids or 2-ridge twin flat braids. At these areas the number of yarn ends that composes the loops for braiding the head DSB are regrouped into 5 times the number of the braids for the next stage. This is possible because each element of the DSB is composed of multiple ends of 2-ply yarn. After the regrouping, the number of ends in the unit may be composed of a single end of double-ply cotton at the smallest and may go up to an appropriate plural number. The ends of aliquant residues may be distributed among the loops. Therefore the number of ends of cotton yarn may not necessarily be equal for all the units.

As will be reported in the next part, our informer told us that the number of loops used for making the DSBs for pote had been "9 or 11" as the custom dictated. As seen on table 3, the DSBs that compose pote B, C, E, D and G have been confirmed to be made using 9 loops. The number of elements of the DSBs for the pote that have a head ring, however, could not be determined. (Note 11)

Here, before discussing the number of loops used for making the DSBs at the head of the pote, letfs first examine the relationship between it and that of square braids and 2-ridge flat braids on their latter half.

 

The latter half of pote H has nine square braids, and that of Pote L eighteen 2-ridge flat braids, i.e., twice of 9 (Table 3). These facts suggest that the numbers of the trailing braids were based on 9, the number of loops used to construct the DSB. On the other hand, pote I and J have 14 and 28 tails respectively, and pote K 26. These numbers lead us to speculate, from technical view point, that the DSBs on pote I and J may have been made using 14, i.e., 7+7, loops and pote K 13, i.e., 7+6.

As for the use of 14 loops for making the DSB, however, the possibility would be extremely low because of the custom of this area that exploits the odd number of loop, that is 9 and 11 loops. (Table 3) In the south Toraja region, the number of the loops of pote was not only dictated by the law of the custom for the social rank of the funeral, but also inseparable to the technical aspects. It gave rise to the development of a unique two-worker method for making DSB in which each worker holds different numbers of loops. (Refer to part III, 3b) Therefore, it is difficult to imagine that another method using an equal number of loops was practiced within the same region for the same purpose of constructing DSBs.

As for the possibility of the use of 13 loops, I will retain it for the following two reasons despite there being no facts supported by informers:

1) I also found that square braids using 7 loops have been made in this region. (Refer to Section 2-4, L-M BRIC News no.9)

   2) The procedure for making a DSB with 13 loops is identical to that of 9 loops, except for the difference in the number of the loops the braiders hold in their hands. In the latter, one braider holds 5 loops and the other 4 whereas in the former one braider holds 7 loops and the other 6.

The inferences of using 14 or 13 loops for making DSBs in Toraja have been drawn on the assumption that regrouping of the loops is done based on the number of the original group; the numbers of the braids at the latter portion are a multiple of an integral number of loops used to construct the DSB preceding them. For instance, if the DSB at the head is constructed using loops composed of 6 double-plies, the following square braids are to be constructed using 5 loops apportioned in 1-1-1-1-2. It follows if the loops for making the head DSB are composed of a multiple of 5 ends of 2-plies, they would be regrouped into 5 even loops.

In the following paragraph, let's consider the possibility of regrouping the loops into any number of square braids unrelated from that used for the DSB at the head. That is, the possibility that the yarn ends composing the loops used for constructing the DSB are completely disbanded and regrouped into the number of loops needed for making the square braids that follow the head portion (the number of square braids x 5).

According to this method of regrouping, it is possible that the number of the regrouped loops for square braids could be 14 or 28 even if the DSB is made using 9 loops, when each of the original loops was composed of larger than 5 ends of yarn. Therefore, under this condition, the number of the square braids does not necessarily reflect the number of loops used for making the DSB. It leads to the conclusive argument that it is not necessary that the numbers of the square braids on pote I, J and K, I.e., 14, 28, 26, have to reflect the numbers of the loops used for making the DSB at the head.

From observations of actual pote as well as various other data, the numbers of ends of the component cotton yarn that comprise the loops used for constructing the head-rings of a pote are varied, 5 to around 10. My presumption is that the number of ends of cotton yarn for the braids for the head portion more likely depended on the size of the available hand-spun threads at the spot where the braiding happened to take place. Depending on the size of available yarn, regrouping is more likely to have been decided to make the loop size that is called for.

The oval decorative knobs seem to have been made for covering up the yarn ends disturbed by regrouping and at the same time giving a finishing touch.

 

4. Composition and Construction Process of pote

As stated in previous section, there are pote with simpler composition constructed of machine-spun cotton and those with one more complex constructed of hand spun yarns. The majority of the latter type have a DSB at the head and decorative knobs covering the transition areas. In the following we describe our presumed production processes based on the detailed observation of their characteristics.

 

pote 1a(1) Pote with no ring at its head end.

Pote(Photo 1a: right top and Photo 1b: right bottom)

Pote A consists of one thick square braid and many thinner square braids that branch out from it. The yarn used is Z double-ply handspun cotton. The braid has been bound and shaped into a circle and decorated by two knobs and coiling. The starting end is hidden inside one of the knobs. The other knob at the tail end binds the bunch of thin square braids. The knobs are about the size of a partridge egg and very hard as if they each had a core made by wrapping thread around the braids inside. They are covered by 1bsimple looping stitches applied by stitching on a foundation using threads and needle: looping stitches (two single element simple looping on a foundation element).

The short fringes of white, red and black beads look quite worn out and some have been lost.

The discoloration and wear of black threads on pote A betray their substantially old production dates as with pote I, J, K and L.

Pote B, C, E, and F (Photo 2 right: Pote E)

Pote B and C were obtained in West Kurra District (13). E and F were recorded at the funeral held in Rembon District, of which I will describe later in this report. They are composed of DSB using 18 elements, i.e. 9 loops, which can be discerned from the yarns hanging at the ends of the braids. Among them B and E are made of factory spun cotton yarn. The fact tells me that 2-person braiding was practiced in this area even after the War when hand spinning was no longer practiced.

Pote B has an area where the top and bottom layers of the DSB are open at the selvage ends. It means that the two workers braided using the procedure for twin 2-ridge twill flat braids, not square-braids, for a short distance. I don't know the reason, however. Pote C is of an 8-ridge twill tubular braid rather than a DSB. It is uncommon for a pote to have this structure. (Note 12)

Photo 7 left: shows a native priest/tominaa, who officiates funeral rites, wearing a pote. The fringe of thin braids hangs down on one side of the head.






photo3(2) Pote with a ring at the starting end

Pote D and H (Photo 3 right: Pote H)

Pote D has a ring of square braid at the head end. I recognized it at a rite performed in South Mengkendek (24) District and recorded it. This is the only pote that has a ring of a square braid as far as I have recorded. Pote H has a small ring of DSB but has never shaped into a headband. I found it in Sangalla (23) District.  It is of S 2-ply hand-spun cotton.  A portion of the end of the braids on this specimen has not been cut leaving exposed loop ends, enabling me to record that all nine square braids have the elements composed of two ends of 2-ply cotton yarn. It is an important specimen as one that allows us a fairly accurate estimation of the construction process.

 

Presumed Process for making pote H assuming that 9 loops were used for constructing the DSB.

a.    The ring portion of DSB/prepare 9 loops of needed length each composed of 5 ends of 2-ply cotton yarn. Using the middle section of the lengths of looped yarn, braid 7 cm of DSB.

b.    The DSB portion following the ring/fold the DSB in two with the wider face on the outside. (Ed. Note 10) Put the loops of the two ends together and regroup them into 9 loops each composed of 10 ends of 2-ply cotton. Braid a DSB 70 cm using newly formed 9 loops.

c.    The portion with square braids/regroup each loop into 5 loops each composed of 2 ends of cotton yarn. Then braid 9 square braids using 5 loops for each.

d.    Transition areas /Simple looping stitches cover the transition areas. The stitches cover only one side of the first transition area, but cover all around the second. These two transition areas for this pote are flat and there's no sign of binding threads inside compared to other pote of which transition areas usually are rounded. The reason might be that there was no need for the knob because the transition area was a little disheveled or the technique for making the knob had been lost by the time this pote was made.

photo 4
Pote I and J (Photo 4 right: Pote I)

These two pote sharing a common feature are masterpieces that represent the best of the traditional format. I is in mud-dyed black color whereas J is in natural. Hand-spun cotton is used. Pote I has the tail portion of 14 square braids and pote J 28. The transition area is bound with a decorative knob. For the rings, pote I has the wider face of the DSB on the outside, and pote J the narrower side. As for the number of loops used to construct the head portion of the DSBs, 9, 11, or 13 are possible. There's no way to determine it, however. (Refer to the previous section "Regrouping of the loops at the transition area")

Pote I has egg-shaped knob with decorative beadwork. Simple looping stitches covering the knob can be seen beneath the beadwork. Pote J has spindle-shaped knobs. The simple looping stitches on these have widely spaced legs and threads running in the direction of circumference stretch sideways. Against these stitches, oblique ridges formed by legs of vertical linking contrast clearly and give impressive decorative effects. This simple looping has not been stitched over a background fabric but is an independent structure: one-element circularly spaced simple looping.

 photo 5a

Pote J: Presumed construction process (photo right 5a and 5b: Pote J)

From the appearance in the photograph and the number of square braids at the tail end, the number of the ends of the 2-ply yarn composing the loops of the DSB is fairly large, about 10 ends, whereas the number of loops is unknown.

a. The ring portion/On the middle section of the prepared loop bunch, braid a DSB for 16 cm using loops each consisting as many as 10 ends of 2-ply cotton yarn as assumed above.

b. The square braid portion/Regroup the number of ends of cotton yarn into photo 5bfourteen 5-loop groups. Braid fourteen 10-element (5-loop) square braids. Do the same with the other end of the DSB portion. Then you have 28 square braids.

c. Knobs at the transition area/Join the two ends of the DSB with the wider faces on the outside. Bundle the 28 square braids. Wrap around about 4 cm (1-3/4 inches) of the bundle at the transition area by some thread and make the core for the knob. Using a needle and a certain length of threads, cover the knob with circularly worked spaced simple looping. (Photo 5b) Numerous beads decorate the un-worked ends of the braids.

 

pote KPote K and L (Photo 6 left: Pote K)

Pote K is in black and L in natural. For pote K, each loop is composed of about 10 ends of loosely spun 2-ply cotton.

Both have the common feature of pote H in that they have a DSB that follows the DSB head ring.

The second DSB was made using the loops regrouped from the joined ends of the first DSB.

The tail portion of pote L has eighteen 2-ridge twill flat braids. Surmising from this, the DSB portion was made using 9 loops with each element composed of a multiple of 5 ends (from their thin appearance, we assume that each original loop consists of five 2-plys).

Pote K has 26 trailing square braids. It is possible to assume that the DSB at the head were made using 13 loops, i.e., one braider holding 6 loops and the other 7. Or following the second regrouping idea, it is possible that the DSB could be made using 9 loops or even 11.

Both pote K and L were fixed after braiding had been completed at the transition areas and wrapped into egg-shaped knobs. The surface of the knobs is covered with circularly worked simple looping.

 

III. Funerary Headband/POTE

The Path to Resolving the Technique

 
In this section, I will describe the process of a 4-year survey to the successful recordings of the two-person braiding and the DSB method using odd numbers of loops and their relation to the custom of traditional religion.

Today, in Toraja, l-m braids are made to order for sepu (betel purses) and carrying sepu decorated by these braids for ceremonial occasions appears to becoming fashionable. On the other hand, braids for pote are no longer made. I chanced upon rare information on men's pote on one of the visits to Rembon District since 2004, looking for weavers of funerary hoods (women's pote).

 
1. Visits to a Heritage Pote Braider in Rembon 12/17 and 12/22/2005

West Rembon District of Tana Toraja Regency has been known as the region where old customs survived. Having been informed of a retired pote maker living in P village, I visited her twice. On the first visit, nene E told me that she knew (l-m) braiding for 3, 5 and 7 loops, and also 2-person method using 9 loops. By this information, "the tradition of braiding using 9 loops" has come for the first time into the focus of my investigation, for I already knew that the method of braiding DSBs using 10 loops existed in Mamasa. Nene E demonstrated using 3-, 5-loop braiding and 2-person 9-loop braiding. The trial at the 9-loop braiding, where I took place of the second braider, however, was not completed because she was not able to recall the second braider's movement. (Photo 9)

7-loop methodThe hint I gained from this trial, however, greatly helped me later for resolving the 9-loop 2-person braiding technique. On the second visit, her husband who is a native priest/tominaa, was home and gave new information on the relationship between the number of loops and the scope of funerals. (Table 4) And at the end, they, the wife at braiding and the husband at tightening the braid, demonstrated making a square braid using 7 loops. This is the first record of the actual performance of the 7-loop square braiding in Toraja and Mamasa. In past demonstrations of 5-loop braiding in these two regions, the braiders used the ring fingers to transfer the loops. Nene E used small fingers for the 7-loop method. (Photo 8 right: Nene E and her husband)

The attempt of 2-person braiding for pote using 9 loops -- At P village 12/2005

<Definitions>
E: nene E, K: Kusakabe, OH: outer hand, IH: inner hand.
Here, the outer hands mean E's left and K's right hand when E sits on the left side of K. The inner hands are E's right and K's left hands.

Both E and K have loops on the middle and ring fingers of both hands. E also has one on IH index finger.
In the following lines, except for the initial loop arrangements, the loop distribution indicate those after loops have been transferred.

hypothetical steps<Recorded on the spot>

9-loop braided Pote, 2-person braiding  12/2005 P Village (Photo 9 right)

Initial loop distribution : Nene E   2     3 / K     2       2

      E/OH  IH K/IH OH

Initial   2       3     2     2

1.       2       3      2      2         E braids 2 steps using 5 loops.
K holding 4 loops waits her turn.

<Hypothetical steps>

2.        2       2      3     2        K using her left index finger, takes the loop on E's  right index finger, hooking up the upper shank

(interconnection from E to K)

3.        2       2      3     2        K braids 2 steps using 5 loops.
E holding 4 loops waits her turn.

4.        2       3      2     2        E using her left index finger, takes the loop on K's index finger, hooking up the upper shank.
(interconnection from K to E)

Return to the initial distribution.                                                     

The above is my hypothetical procedure of interconnection method between 2 braiders. This method has later been proven as the same to that that had been indigenous to this region. (See detailed description in Section IV)


photo 10 

2. Discovery of 18-element pote--At the alk to dolo Funeral in Rembon, 12/23/2006.

The day after the visit to P village, I learned that there would be a funeral rite of the indigenous religion, ark to dolo, in the nearby S Village in which ma bolong/the rite of mud dyeing was to take place. (Note 13) Pote for men and women with other white cloths are dyed in black at the rite of mud dyeing. I arrived in S Village early in the morning on bike, climbing steep mountain road and waited for the start of the rite under a granary /alang, drinking coffee with other participants. (Photo 10: right) Noticing two men wearing white headband pote I asked them to let me see them. One of them was made of factory-made combined cotton. (Table 3, Photo 2: E) The other was of hand-spun cotton. (Table 3 F) Both had the cross section of wide quadrangle with an 8-ridge pattern. It is shaped by wrapping with string to fit to a head. I counted the thread number of their fringes, the cut ends of the loops, and got 18 ends from both. This means that these braids were made using 9 loops. They prove that the testimony by nene E of P Village was correct. On the same day, I received important testimonials from two attendees on the relationship between processes of making pote at a funeral and the coming out of mourning. I also learned the relationship of the number of loops used for making the braids and that of sacrificial buffalo. The summary of the testimonials from informers at P and S villages are shown in Table 4.

 

     Table 4 Relationship between scopes of funerals and the number of loops -- informers' accounts at S and P Villages, Rembon District

Number of buffalos
 sacrificed at funeral
Number
of loops
 (P Village)
Number
of loops
(S Village)
3
5
5
5
7
7
7
11
9
9-12

11


B    3. "Braids for the Dead" at Saluputti, 12/16-17/2008.

a.     a. Two Holders of the Heritage Pote Braiding

In December of 2008, I had a chance to survey at Saluputti District (14) that neighbors to Rembon District. The district situates 18 km (11 miles) from Bittuang (16) where the route to Mamasa, west to Toraja, starts. It is also known to be the district that holds old traditions and beliefs. Cooperators of my investigation in the area found a woman who knew l-m braiding/mangkabi. The woman in her 60s, Indo M (Note14), began the talk that there are "braids for the living/pangkabi orang hidup " and "braids for the dead/pangkabi orang mati." Braids made using 9 loops are only allowed at the highest rank funeral, dirapai, or the next rank funeral, dipapitung bongi, at which the 7-night ritual is dedicated. She told that at these funerals, a larger number of heads than 9 buffalos are sacrificed.

The last time she made "the braid for the dead" was for a funeral in 1987. I was able to have the full account of the funeral from the family that had given the funeral who happened to be there. They told me that the woman, Indo B, who was the braiding companion to Indo M for that occasion, was still alive. I asked for my cooperators right away to find and fetch her in order to see the 9-loop 2-person braiding demonstrated.

Senior population here moves much more than we imagine. Moving to join family members living far away (occasionally abroad) or taking trips for family events or sickness, etc., seem to be daily occurrences. Indo B was found as she traveled from her sonfs home in Saluputti back to hers in Rembon. Indo B, the dignified woman in her 80fs, despite difficulties in eyesight, fulfilled two days of demonstrations. In olden days, she grew cotton and wove womenfs pote, funerary hoods, proving herself as an excellent weaver. 

b.  Recordings of the Double-Square-Braid Procedures Using 9 and 11 Loops

Indo B told me that braiding using 11 loops, in addition to 9 loops, had existed. With regard to two testimonials shown in table 4, this information is highly credible. Pote with 22 elements that could have been constructed using 11 loops haven't yet been found, however. It was decided to try the 9-loop method for the first day and that of 11- loop on the second. Under the grainary in front of the traditional ship-shaped house of Indo B's son, the work continued for two days, the men folk assisting as a beater and so on, all chatting and occasionally singing mourning chants/ma retteng. (Note 15) (Photo left10 b: Indo M at left, Indo B at right))

 

<Recorded on spot: 2>

<Definitions follow the one for the previous record at P Village 12/2005>

Pote made using 9 loops (Braids for the dead)

Initial loop distribution  Indo B/ 3 2        Indo M/ 2 2

           B/OH     IH      M/IH  OH

Initial  3         2        2       2

1.        2        3        2        2    B/using her IH ring finger, takes the upper of the loop on her OH index finger from above.
M/holding 4 loops waits her turn.

2.         2        2       3        2     M/using her IH index finger, takes the upper of the loop of B's IH index finger from above.
(Interconnection from B to M)

3.         2        2       2        3        M/using her OH ring finger, takes the upper of the loop on her own IH index finger from above.
 B/holding 4 loops waits her turn.

4.         2        2       3         2        M/using her IH ring finger, takes the upper of the loop on her own OH index finger from above.
 B/holding 4 loops waits her turn.

5.         2        3       2         2       B/using her IH index finger, takes the upper of the loop of M's IH index finger from above.
(Interconnection from M to B)

6.         3        2        2        2        B/using her OH ring finger, takes the upper of the loop on her own IH index finger from above.

                                                           M/holding 4 loops waits her turn.

Return to the initial distribution pattern

*  Steps 2 and 5 are the manipulations for interconnection and steps 1, 3, 4 and 6 are for loop manipulations.

*   Although the upper shank of the loop is taken from above for all loop transfers, the upper and lower shanks of the loop exchange the position (crossed) for loop manipulations (when making DSB), but do not exchange (open) for interconnections.

 

The case of 11 loops (outline)

Unfortunately we were not able to complete the recording for the two-person braiding using 11 loops tried on the second day.

The main reason was Indo B's difficulty with her eyesight. She often made mistakes in picking the loop when holding 6 loops so that we couldn't determine the positions of some loops. The second factor contributed to the failure was that Indo M didn't seem to have had experience of the 11-loop method. From what I observed, however, I was able to figure out that it was similar to the 9-loop method of interconnection. The following is the outline of my presumptive 11-loop DSB braiding.

 

Initial distribution of loops 3 3 2 3

B/OH  IH  M/IH  OH

1.   3     3      2     3       B/braids 2 steps. M/in waiting

2.   3     2      3     3       B/gives M the loop on IH index finger
                                                (interconnection from B to M)

3.   3     2      3     3      M/braids 2 steps. B/in waiting M/inwaiting

4.   3     3       2    3       M/gives B the loop on IH index finger

  (interconnection from M to B)

Return to the initial distribution

  

IV. Saluputti Method and Interconnection Methods
 

The hitherto-unknown method (for us) of constructing "Braids for the Dead" was finally disclosed. One of the two braiders holds 5 loops and the other 4. By repeating the cycle of the steps, "the braider with 5 loops braids one square braid procedure and gives a loop to the next braider with 4 loops," between the two braiders, a DSB is constructed. Let's call this method recorded in Saluputti the Saluputti Method. This method is much more time-consuming compared to the interconnection method recorded in Mamasa or those known in European records. It seems, however, from my experience on the spot, those placid movements of exchanges between the two braiders to be appropriate to the ritualistic community deed. By this recording of an actual braiding scene of the Saluputti method my hypothetical interconnection methods I had set out earlier was proven to agree with that used traditionally in this area. One of them was about the 8-ridge flat braid drawstring of sepu published in the L-M BRIC News No. 9. The other is about DSBs for pote presented in Section III of this report. They all show the successive interconnection method using 9 loops.

 

1. The Two Interconnection Methods Defined by Speiser

In Speiser's Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding, many pages have been devoted to the l-m method performed by multiple numbers of braiders. A photograph made in ca. 1920 in Sweden in which three women cooperating on l-m braiding is shown as the traditional European l-m braiding. (Note 16)

Here, Speiser based on her research into written original records defined "regular exchange" method as a general interconnection method. In this method, 2 braiders simultaneously exchange two loops and continue the next steps of braiding in unison. On the other hand, she earlier presented an interconnection method in which a loop exchange and a braiding step were combined. (Note 17)

I have recorded on the Sulawesi surveys, two interconnection methods that are somewhat related to these methods:

(1)         The "combined interconnection," using 10 loops for making DSBs and 8-ridge flat braids, in 2008, was recorded in Mamasa.

(2)         The methods that have been recorded in Mamasa in 2006 (L-M BRIC News No. 8), and in North Balusu, Toraja Utara Regency, in 2008, may be called "mixed" methods. They are for DSBs using 10 loops. In these methods, connection from one direction uses "combined" passage but from other direction the loop is simply passed to the other braider.

 

2. The Saluputti Method as Successive Interconnection Method

The two interconnection methods, the regular exchange and combined interconnection, defined by Speiser are characteristically different in two features from the "successive interconnection" of Saluputti Method.

(1)       Connecting movements are performed simultaneously one after the other.

(2)         The two braiders continue to work simultaneously.

Finally, I would like to examine the relationship between the interconnection methods and the number of loops used for constructing a braid. The "successive interconnection" method that I recorded is a 4-hand procedure that use an odd number of loops, that is, one braider holds 5 loops and the other 4. The methods defined by Speiser, on the other hand, are for two braiders both holding the same number of loops, 5 loops for example. On account of these factors, a question of whether or not the number of loops defines interconnection methods arises.

 About this question, Speiser pointed out in our private exchange of opinions of 12/1/2006 as follows:

In my technological work I always look out for the ESSENTIALS to separate the independent parts of a working process: in loop-braiding - - - - , then the number of loops, then the nature of the passages - - - - , and the manner of exchanging.

 Again in the exchange of 12/4/2006 she emphasized as follows:

As method for connecting braids it is totally independent of the number of loops and the braiding movements.

 

According to Speiser's definition, regular exchange, i.e., simultaneous interconnection, is also applicable to the procedures using 9 loops. This means conversely that the successive interconnection, as one like Saluputti Method, is also applicable to 10-loop procedures. Speiser illustrated to me that successive interconnections, rather than simultaneous method, between several 2-braider sets with each braider holding 5 loops was possible. I myself confirmed that all these three methods of interconnection do work for making DSB using 9 loops. In this way, Speiser demonstrated an essential viewpoint in research. 

On the other hand, it is the unmistakable fact that in Saluputti braids have traditionally been made using 9 loops and with successive interconnection, rather than simultaneous or combined method as my records proves. The condition in which the two braiders hold the same or different number of loops presents a fair amount of effects on the transfer processes of the loops. Unlike the factors understood from the analysis of working processes, it should be considered as a question of the effects on the development of working methods exerted from actual working conditions. This is shown by the fact that two different interconnection methods were recorded in the two regions in Toraja where DSBs have been made using two different number of loops, 9 and 10.

 

In Closing

This report has exceeded the reasonable length for a newsletter article, so that including my generalized theory of interconnection methods born of detailed classification and analysis of the survey results from the Sulawesi has become impractical. It has been decided, therefore, to have only a short account of interconnection methods as the "Saluputti Method" was added as Section IV. I look forward to the publication of EUROPEAN LOOP BRAIDING by N. Speiser and J. Boutrup in this summer, in which the subject of interconnection methods is discussed in detail. (Ed. Note 5)

My deep appreciation extends to friends and cooperators in Toraja who tirelessly assisted me with their time and labor. I also give my sincere thanks and respects to those who willingly shared their knowledge with me in writing this report. I thank the editor-in-chief, Masako Kinoshita, for her tireless guidance and assistance, without which this report might not have come to the completion.

<Photos: K. Kusakabe ©>

References:

Buijs, Kees, Power of Blessing from the Wilderness and from Heaven: Structure and transformation in the religion of the Toraja in the Mamasa area of south Sulawesi, Leiden, KITLV Press, 2006

Horiuchi, Noriko, Ippon no sen kara --  from a line (sic), Kyoto: Senshoku to Seikatsu Sha, 1986.

Emery, Irene, The Primary Structures of Fabrics, Textile Museum, 1980.

Kajitani, Nobuko, 'Andesu no Orimono = Textiles from the Andes,' Senshoku no Bi 20, 1982.

Kusakabe, Keiko, Suraweshi-to no Senshoku: Saddan Toraja-jin, Mamasa Toraja-jin no Gireiteki Senshoku = Sadan Torajan and Mamasan Ritualistic Textiles, comp. by E. Iwanaga, Fukuoka: Fukuoka Municipal Museum, 2006.

Nooy-Palm, Hetty, THE SA'DAN-TORAJA, Leiden: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 1986.

Speiser, Noémi, The Manual of Braiding, Basel; Self pubished, 1983, 1988, 1991.

Speiser, Noémi, Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding, Arboldswil: self published, 2000.

Suzuki, Miyako, Orimono Kozo Zuten = Illustrated Dictionary of Textile Structures, Nihon Orimono Bunka Kenkyukai, 2005.

Tammu, J., Kamus Toraja, disusun olej J. Tammu, H. van der Veen; Rantepao: Jajasan Perguran Kristen Toraja, 1972.

Tana Toraja: A Social History of an Indonesian People, Bigalke, Terance, Singapore: Singapore University Press, National University of Singapore, 2005,

Veen, H., van der, 'The Sadan Toradja Chant for the Deceased,' Verhandlingen van het Koninklijk voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde; Deel 49 = Collected Works of the Royal Institute of Southeast Asia and Caribbean Studies; Part 49, 's-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966.

Yamashita, Shinji, Girei no Seijigaku, Tokyo: Kobundo, 1988.

<End of K. Kusakabe's Report>

 

<L-M Braiding in Sadan Toraja: Editor's Note>

It was the fall in 2003 when I learned that l-m braiding and its 2-person method was likely to be practiced in the Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, when Kusakabe contacted me with her inquiry on braids found on her collection of Indonesian textiles. She suspected that some braids had been made using the l-m technique. Upon observing them, I was sure that they were made using the l-m technique. Especially the double square braids (DSB) used for male pote are highly likely to have been made using 2-person braiding. At the time, multi-person braiding (the majority being 2-person) had been known only through written records, mainly of medieval English, and through analytical studies of specimens from Europe and Japan. No actual practice had ever been reported.

Over the several years since, by her efforts and passion, Kusakabe found braiders in the Sulawesi Island who knew traditionally used methods of constructing DSBs by 2-braider interconnection and successfully recorded the procedures. She moreover analyzed and noted the three different interconnection methods she had recorded. At first, we planned to publish the technical aspects of her analytical study in the next issue of this News. On account of publication of a new book by Speiser/Boutrup this summer in which interconnection methods are analyzed, it was decided to forego our plan in order to avoid duplication, and only a short account on the matter was added as Section IV of her report in this issue.

The three interconnection methods used by the people of Toraja, to my thinking, must represent those invented and used by many peoples around the world. For instance, Speiser thought up the combined interconnection method from braid specimens in the 17th c. notebooks. The other idea, simultaneous interconnection, was found in the Tollemache books and other 15th c. records. It is the earliest known written record of interconnection method. On the other hand, I have known that if one of the braiders used one less loop than the companion the irregularity by one float on 4-ridge twill flat braid can be eliminated. (Note 18) In this scenario, it is natural that the braider who holds larger number of loops works. Consequently interconnection occurs successively. While these three interconnection methods must have been invented by different circumstances or motivations, pinpointing which one of them was actually used for any arbitrary specimen is difficult because they work under the same principle.

Under these circumstances, it is a rare occurrence that Kusakabe successfully recorded the actual practices of these three methods. Especially, the observation by Kusakabe that use of 9 loops for braiding DSB may not necessarily be initiated by rationally thought idea of improving working efficiency or pattern irregularity is significant. (Note 19) It may be an example of the influence on technology by matters of religion or custom such as taboos.

About the relationship between the number of loops used to make the DSB on male pote and that of the braids that follow, although it wouldnft be wise to speculated at this point, it may give more meaningful results if followed by further surveys.
<End of editor's comment>


News report from Keiko Kusakabe:

Beginning of Renaissance of L-M Braiding in Sulawesi, Indonesia?!

In Tana Toraja it is now fashionable to carry sepu decorated with loop braids when attending ceremonies. On the last survey trip, I visited two women who engaged in production of order-made sepu. They use variously bright colored polyester yarns. As for men's pote, I heard that in last November, a huge quantity of woolen headband was ordered for a large scale Christian funeral in a north region village. I don't think that they would hardly have been double square braids, though. (I regret very much that I didn't attend the funeral.) Could it be that use of men's pote in the north was reborn because there is a weaker bind with indigenous religion in the north region? In the south region where ark to doro is still practiced in some degree, wearing pote at Christian ceremonies is strictly prohibited.

Do you know any other place on the earth where using l-m braids is trendy?!

  

lace vice of three colorsILLUSTRATED INSTRUCTION SERIES: NO. 12

LACE VICE OF THREE COLORS by Joy Boutrup

Lace Vice of Three Colors is #66 of the Serene collection, a collection of l-m braid instructions named after its editor, Lady Elizabeth Serene by N. Speiser and J. Boutrup. The collection itself was found in 2005 by L. Fogelman among the huge 17th c. printed book "NATURA EXENTRATA. (Ed. note 4) This two-person 12-loop braiding is composed innovatively of oblique twining patterns that have never been seen before either in the l-m or stand-and-bobbin braiding.

 The basic techniques

GUIDELINES FOR RECORDING L-M TECHNIQUES of field encounters

Report of such account is greatly appreciated.


Activities relating to L-M BRAIDING

Forecast of Publications in 2009

EUROPEAN LOOP BRAIDING: Investigations and Results

By Noémi Speiser, Joy Boutrup and others

Edited and published in 4 parts by Jennie Parry

Noémi Speiser and Joy Boutrup, with Jennie Parry as editor and publisher, are preparing a four part series on loop braiding in Europe. Parts I and II on exchanging, and on letter braids will appear concurrently a little later this year. It is planned that Part III will include braids on ecclesiastical textiles of the Bridgettine workshops in Sweden by Noémi Speiser in co-operation with Inger Estham and Mari-Louise Franzén, whilst Part IV will include a number of reports on braids from several museums.
Each publication has in-depth research, excellent diagrams and clear detailed color photographs.

If you wish to receive a notice with more details, costs and how to order, please email Jennie Parry (jennieparry2003@yahoo.co.uk) or send a SAE to Jennie Parry, 21 St Philip's Road, Leicester LE5 5TR. UK.

Coinciding with the launch of Part I and II, Jennie is reprinting "Loop-manipulation braiding, Basic instructions" by Noémi Speiser, first published in May 2002.
It has been out of print for sometime and not available. (Jennie Parry)

Future meetings: 1/2009 to 3/2010

Kute-uchi Kumihimo Giho Kenkyukai = Kute-uchi Braiding Research Group
Meeting date: The 4th Sundays of even numbered months.
Place: The Gangoji Cultural Property Research Institute, Chuin-cho, Nara-shi, Japan.

Research subject: Shosoin flat braids with a plain-weave and twill patterns.

Activities related to l-m braiding in the past year: 1/2008 to 5/2009.

Discovered: On Dec. 2007, by members of the Braid Society visiting the Pitt River Museum, Oxford University, an extensive collection of fine silk samples and directions for the making of l-m braids, intriguingly entitled 'The Nun's Book' among the collection of the Museum.

Publications: N. Speiser, eInitial Observations on the "Nun's Book",' and also J. Boutrup, 'Braided Seal Strings from 1590,' in Strands 2008, Issue 15, The Braid Society, 2008. Boutrup's paper boosts her paper published in L-M BRIC News No. 9 by adding more detailed structural analysis and some latest observation. M. Kinoshita, eBraiding Techniques for the Braids Stored in the Shosoin with Report on the Experimentation in Reconstruction of Ancient Square Braids Using the Archaic Japanese Braiding Technique, Kute-uchi,' Bulletin of Office of the Shosoin Treasure House, No. 31, 2009. (Click the 5th button on the right side of the Shosoin Home Page)


The Proceedings of the First International Conference on Kumihimo,
Space, Time and Braid is still available. For purchase details: See L-M BRIC News No. 11.

International Coferences: M. Omura, Braids Excavated from the Chu Cemetery at Baoshan, China, The Fourth Worldwide Conference of SEAA, 2-5, June 2008, Beijing, P. R. China.

Workshops and research groups:
"Kute-uchi Kumihimo Giho Kenkyukai/Kute-uchi Braiding Technique Research Group"
(Renamed from Kute-uchi ni yoru Nihon Kodai Chusei Kumihimo Fukugen Kenkyuukai/Research Group for Reconstruction of Ancient and Medieval Braids Using Kute-uchi) has concluded, for the time being, the square braid studies, on which we concentrated for the past three years. The theme starting from the last meeting of 2008 is l-m braiding methods for regular pattern flat braids.

Exhibitions: C. Kawabe and A. Yoda, 'Swatches and Photographic Materials' at Sakai City Green Center 2008/3/19-23, 2009/3/2-4; H. Kasuga, Exhibit by Three Artists, at Sun-peer Akashi Art Hall.11/26-30/2008.

Workshops, Demonstrations: C. Kawabe and A.Yoda, Demo and practice session at their annual exhibition Sakai Greenify Center, Sakai-city; Y. Kawada is busy setting up occasions for spreading the tchnique through his work place, the Sennan Buried Cultural Property Center, Sennann-city, and succeeding it. 1. I set up a program for school kids as they come for their field trip to the Center; 3 city schools participated, date: 5/15, 10/17, 10/23, 10/28; altogether 375 attended; 2. Set up a "Trial Corner, Anybody, Anytime," popularizing the technique to area residents, 8/1-8/29, 80 participants, MaiBun Club with help of volunteers, 9/27, 23 participants, also participatted in Area Get-to-Know Festival 11/3 many, many participants, getting more popular by the year; M. Kinoshita, workshops, 3-D Beginner course 10/2, 9, 16, 9/27, 10/4 and others; R. Kumeda, twice-monthly course started 4/2008, Tuesday afternoons at Aburakawa Citizens Center, Aomori-city, 10 participants average, participated in Exhibitions, Festivals in places like Goshogawara-shi, Ichinohe in Iwate Prefecture, etc. Aomori Television broadcasted Kumeda's "Pinky Braiding" in 15 min. program and received a heavy response; S. Sumiura taught square-braid friendship bracelet at Jizo Festival where she lived, 08/16/2008. She sent out the event notice to organizers and residents of the apartment compound.

 

PLEASE SEND IN YOUR ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE L-M BRAIDING!!

Again this year, we received information from many readers, giving us yet stronger convictions of l-m braiding having been used long in time and wide in area. It is encouraging to see that many people are exposed to the technique through demonstrations given by volunteers.

Acknowledgement: for Contribution of articles –J. Boutrup, K. Kusakabe, N. Speiser; for The Braid society for permitting us to reproduce the article by Speiser. For monetray contributions – T. Sekiguchi; and those who sent us letters, faxes and e-mails of encouragement.

Apologies: We apologize that there are some irregularities in the sizes of fonts, and no show of pictures, etc., that have come on the pages for unknown reason (at least for this editor).  We decided to publish the issue in the way it is to avoid further delay.  We hope to correct them in near future.

L-M BRIC News is accessed through the internet. (English version) http://www.lmbric.net (Japanese version) http://www.lmbric.net/njindex.html We no longer issue hardcopy version. For those who have difficulty accessing the internet or wish to have the hardcopy version, please send a request to the editor. We will be happy to make a full hard copy set from the web and mail it to you, free of charge.

L-M BRIC News is a totally self-supported publication of the Loop-Manipulation Braiding Research and Information Center founded by Masako Kinoshita to promote the study of L-M braiding. Donations from interested readers, however, will be appreciated. Please send donations to Masako Kinoshita, 5 Winthrop Place, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA. As for a \ contribution, please send by Japanese postal money order, Yucho Ginko Money Order account, Name of the branch 039 (in Japanese numerals), Kind: Toza, Account number 0025986, title Masako Kinoshita. Thank you.