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January 01, 2014

The Enchanting Culture of Minahasa

The Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua, in collaboration with the Institut Seni Budaya Sulawesi Utara, unveils its first charity activity of 2014 by hosting the very special “The Enchanting Culture of Minahasa”, from North Sulawesi.
For the first time ever in Bali, this exclusive “Culture of Minahasa” performance demonstrates traditional dance and music, and, by way of a fashion show, it also showcases a wonderful contemporary interpretation of indigenous Minahasa fabrics by a well-known Fashion Designer, Thomas Sigar.

“We are so excited to host this event, “The Enchanting Culture of Minahasa” pioneered by Intitute Seni Budaya Sulawesi Utara. There will be Fashion Show introducing the heritage of Minahasa’s fabrics designed by Thomas Sigar. He is known, not only as a fashion designer and as a fashion consultant, but also as a consultant and observer of Interior culture. Additionally, we will also be displaying the unique Kolintang Kawanua Music and Dances accompanied by “Oeblet Etnik Orchestra”, choreographed by Denny Malik and performed by Denny Malik Company”, said Gary Phair, President of ROTARY CLUB NUSA DUA 2013-2014.
There will be a pre-function cocktail reception, where fashions and fabrics from Minahasa will be displayed. Those who are interested in having space to showcase your products or services in the pre-function area, may do so by contacting one of the event organizers (pls kindly refer below). Prices upon application.

 The event will take place at The Conrad Hotel on Sunday 12th January, 2014 and the reception will commences at 18:30 hours. During the evening, there will also be an auction of fabulous items such as Hotel Rooms, Restaurant, Spa and other vouchers donated by our generous sponsors. Ticket price is at Rp 300.00,- per person including entry, pre-function reception drinks and canapés, plus exciting door prizes also from our sponsors. Tickets are available in the areas of Sanur, Denpasar, Kuta, Kerobokan and Jimbaran. In the meantime, more Sponsors are welcome, please contact: Dona: 0819081230953 or Martin: 08123843266 for details.
The proceeds will be donated to the BaliLife Foundation, a charitable foundation that runs a Children’s Home, near Ungasan. They are currently housing 20 beautiful children aged 5 to 15 years old who have previously been abandoned, orphaned or rejected with the aim of giving them hope, dignity and purpose. In particular, it is RCBND's aim to assist with the children's education and vocational training.
Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua was established Chain in 1992 as Bali's first English-speaking Rotary Club. Since 1994 the Club has provided over 1,360 cleft palate and cranial facial operations to underprivileged children and young adults in Bali and surrounding islands.
For more information, please visit or contact our Marketing Communications for this event: Joyce Nelwan at +62 821 4618 1454 or Grace Jeanie, JPPROBALI at +62 817 351 312.

  As the other Indonesian traditional fabric such as  batik gets wider recognition, Minahasa weaving gets less than what it deserves. Today, the National Museum in Jakarta only has a single piece of Minahasa weaving and another 4 pieces is kept in a museum in the Netherlands. Therefore Thomas Sigar take the initiative by recreating Minahasa weaving with new motifs, new materials and modern design to preserve this heritage.

Through a fashion show titled “The Enchanting Culture of Minahasa”, Thomas Sigar has tried to bring forward Minahasa traditional fabric to wider audience in Indonesia. He managed to  present Minahasa silk weaving with patola motif wonderfully, also hand-painted chiffon and silk with patola motif on it. Fabric with patola motif is considered sacred by Minahasa people because of its geometric graphic that looks like snake scales that represent the guardian god that looks for people rice fields. Usually the scale-like pattern is placed on the edge of the weaving. Ironically, Thomas Sigar needed to conduct the weaving process in Bali instead of Minahasa since there’s no more artisan left in Minahasa. The design for men’s attires were mostly inspired by kuarta or Indian long tunic shirt and Nehru-style jas tutup (high-necked jacket with standing collar and closed with plug buttons), while women’s attires range from daily outfits to cocktail dresses.
Source :fashionesedaily

  The Minahasa woven cloth disappeared 200 years ago. This had caused the Minahasa people to borrow woven fabrics from neighboring regions or batik from Java. Today, the woven fabric has returned.
The return of Minahasa woven cloth has delighted the people of the North Sulawesi. In fact, Minahasa weaving is now widely worn by celebrities. Young actress Shereen Sungkar for example. When she received the Panasonic Award for 2010 Most Popular Actress, she looked elegant wearing a green dress of Minahasa woven designed by Thomas Sigar.
Thomas Sigar, the Manadonese descent fashion designer, is the one who rediscovered the old motifs of Minahasa woven cloth. Since 2005, along with Benny J. Mamoto and Rita Mamoto of the Cultural Art Institute of North Sulawesi, Thomas initiated the revival of Minahasa woven. He conducted his research from books to the field. “In the 17th century thru the 18th, before religions entered the Minahasa, weaving skills reached the highest level,” said Thomas Sigar, who had studied at the Ecole Superieure d’Arts Graphiques and the Academie d’Arts Julien, Paris, France, in 1973-1974. He discovered from his research that the ancient weaving of Minahasa cloth is the most complex method of weaving.
Born in Jakarta on October 20, 1952, the designer said the highly difficult method of weaving and the arrival of Christian religion in the 19th century—that viewed the motifs of ancient Minahasa cloth as symbolizing paganism—have caused the disappearance of Minahasa woven fabric since 200 years ago.
Today, in this entire world, there are only seven pieces of Minahasa cloth which already aged over hundreds of years. They are stored at a museum in the Netherlands. “We can find one piece of cloth in the National Museum, but I’m afraid it is not from Minahasa but from the Philippines,” said Thomas, who has been developing Indonesian cultural heritage in the form of fashion since 1997.
Thus, it has been a long time for Minahasa people to wear fabrics that were not theirs. According to his notes, even when participating in the traditional ceremonies, the people of Minahasa used to wear a woven fabric from Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and even batik cloth from coastal Java region. Thomas also discovered photographs showing that in the kingdom days, the king wore a patala cloth from India.
— Full article is available on Majalah Warisan Indonesia Vol.01 No.05 —
Edited by Jamesrudy 
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