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Textiles of Insana, West Timor: Women Weaving and Village Development
By: Coury, William G.

This study explores the position handwoven textiles occupy in the household economy and the process of development. Throughout the pages of this book, the women of Insana tell the story of how weaving transforms the economic present and future of their families and community. It is an important addition to the body of knowledge surrounding development efforts and handicrafts. The book provides a valuable comparative tool for other researchers whose work focuses on women and development in Southeast Asia.


The book contains 47 black and white photographs and 95 color photographs representing the Atoni of Insana and their textiles.



Since 1950 West Timor has been part of the Republic of Indonesia. A recurring theme of the study is the role played by the power holders in the indigenous political system. The Dutch, the Japanese and non-Timorese Indonesians have all had to accommodate the local system. Over the years the traditional leaders' powers were whittled back and there was increased political awareness among Timorese who did not belong to the traditional power groups.


The availability of formal education and the growing influence of the Christian religion provided opportunities for new players who could challenge the authority of the traditional leaders. Nevertheless, despite the many changes, the traditional leaders in West Timor have remained a force to be reckoned with.

Pleasant Title

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