a post to placate my abandoned readers

Ok. I know I’ve been a really bad blog-updater recently. I’m running around trying to do a million things before I fly to Mongolia on Tuesday, and the last weeks have been packed with jetsetting: a few days in Lombok, a few days in Sulawesi, a few days in Java, now a final few days in Bali. Here are some photos from recent days, and a promise of several wordy, fair trade/craft research-related posts soon to come.

Faces of Borobudur

Borobudur is a huge, ancient Buddhist temple outside of Jogjakarta. The many stone stupas, arranged in concentric circles, are covered with intricate relief carvings. I visited on a misty morning- no dramatic skies to offset the gray stone.

I think I divided my time at Borobudur equally between walking through the many levels admiring the beauty of the stonework, and posing for pictures with Indonesian school groups.

More batik!

Look what I made this time! It’s a combination of two traditional Javanese motifs- parang (the diagonal stripe pattern) and sido asih (the motif with wings/leaves/birds).

It has a lot of mistakes, but I’m proud anyway. My teacher/host Nani told me, “There are no mistakes in batik. There is only character.”

Detail in progress:

Three little tjantings sitting in a wax pot:

Beaches, beauties, beasts

Bau-Bau, Sulawesi: on a bluff overlooking the sea

Sulawesi: pastel-painted houses on stilts. Oh, how I want to live in one of these!

Giriloyo, Java: I stayed in Giriloyo, a village known for its batik artists in central Java, with the lovely Nani and her unlovely chickens:

Sulawesi: outrigger boats and jewel seas

Gili Air, Lombok: beach sunset

Gili Air, Lombok: I was walking through the island’s untouristed interior when I stumbled across a group of men playing a game that I would describe as top warfare. Each person had a big, heavy, carved wooden top (the spinning kind) with a piece of string wound around the top of the top in a tight coil. After a huge arm windup, one person would hurl the top at the ground, releasing the string to set the top spinning madly. Others would then hurl their own tops violently at the already-spinning one, trying to knock it off balance.

Bali: at the annual arts festival

Gili Air, Lombok: hermit crab!! This one even found a shell with a convenient eye-hole

En route to Gili Air, Lombok: riding the public boat

Bau-Bau, Sulawesi: old cemetery in a huge rock fortress on top of a bluff.

That’s all for now. More to come very soon.

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One response to “a post to placate my abandoned readers

  1. I love that quote, it is so true. Your batik looks gorgeous!! please tell me you get to take it home…

    I also love the hermit crab and top warfare. so. cool. Can’t wait to see all your pictures when we’re reunited in, oh, about a MONTH!!!

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