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'Eerste Hulp' (First Aid)

A guide to Papuan textile techniques by M.C. Kijne

'First Aid' was prepared for a group of museum volunteers with little knowledge of weaving techniques who were responsible for photographing and describing ethnographic artifacts from West Papua. This richly illustrated book surveys the breadth of traditional weaving techniques found among these communities using a system of classification developed by Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger in her book Textiles: a classification of techniques.

This draft version of 'First Aid' is in Dutch and has been made available to Papuaweb with permission of the author. If you have any comments on the notes, photographs or illustrations used here, please contact Miekee Kijne (mckijnepspost.nl).

© Copyright Miekee Kijne, 2008. Please observe Papuaweb's terms and conditions.

Download the entire book as one document (77Mb PDF file) or chapter by chapter:

  • Titel (Title). Title pages, including table of contents.
  • Inleiding (Introduction). Overviews weaving in West Papua and notes that while Papuans did not weave cloth, textiles from Eastern Indonesia played an important role in the exchange systems of some Papuans and that other groups used shredded red and blue cotton fabric for various forms of embellishment (esp. in beaded aprons and in netbags - noken in Indonesian).
  • Viltwerk (Felting). Focuses on preparation and many uses of bark cloth, but notes that some of these Papuan techniques also relied on various grasses, butterfly cocoons and cobwebs as the raw materials for felting.
  • Prepareren (Preparation). Considers preparation of material for baskets, netbags and other artifacts. In some rather crude objects unprocessed materials (from plants, shrubs or trees) are used but in general most materials used in the production of baskets and netbags require significant preparation.
  • Bindwerk (Binding). Discusses textile techniques used for decoratiom and holding the object together. Seiler-Baldinger describes these as 'beginnings', 'finishings' or 'trimmings', but in Papua these techniques are often independently used. They are important in illustrating the principles of textile techniques among Papuan groups.
  • Luswerk (Linking and looping). An important chapter as these techniques are used extensively by all Papuan groups.
  • Knoopwerk (Knotting). Knotting was a technique used in the production of large artifacts only, such as fishing nets for use in the sea or in Lake Sentani.
  • Vlechtwerk. This is what Seiler- Baldinger calls 'fabric production with two or more sets of elements'. Sub-classifications include: splitting, wrapping, coiling, binding, twining, braiding, plaiting , lace plaiting and plaiting on(to) a frame.
  • Weefwerk (Weaving). There were two areas where weaving was traditionally done - in the central highlands (where small frames were used for half-weaving narrow bands) and among a certain coastal groups which used a real loom (on which women wove a kind of cloth with unspun palm fibre).
  • Kralenwerk (Beading). Beads from seeds or shells were used in the traditional weaving of all groups in West Papua. In the northwest glass beads were imported first from China, then later from Venice )through the Dutch East India Company).
  • Naaiwerk en Versiering (Needlework and Decoration). Decoration is mostly worked in together with the construction of objects but there are some groups who decorate objects after they are finished by painting them or using a kind of needlework.
  • Literatuur (Bibliography). The bibliography has deliberately been mostly limited to references of immediate relevance to Papua.

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