TIMOR ADVENTURE – A day in the Amarasi Kingdom of West Timor

TIMOR ADVENTURE – A day in the Amarasi Kingdom of West Timor

Baun, in the Kingdom of Amarasi, is a small town normally called kecamatan in Indonesia, located in the west Amarasi region of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.  Baun is located within 246.85 square km, and the area is made up of 7 smaller villages (kelurahan Teunbaun, Desa Soba, Desa Niukbaun, Desa Nekbaun, Desa Merbaun, Desa Erbaun, Desa Toobaun dan Desa Tunbaun). Desa=small village. The Kingdom is located in the coastal region of Amarasi, located on the hill with an amazing view of the sea. Baun had been the centre of the Amarasi Kingdom (Kerajaan Amarasi) which reined this region dated back from earlier than 1615, until 1962.

The Raja’s house (Part of the Amarasi Palace)……Above

It was an honour to have met  Robert Maurits Koroh (the son of the late official King Viktor Hendrik Rasiam Koroh reined from 1951-1962) & his wife Ratu Samariah Syah, who are actively promoting traditional ikat textile of Baun, Amarasi globally.


With Robert Koroh (the eldest son of the late Raja Koroh) and his wife  Ratu Samariah Syah (the daughter of Sultan of Ternate)

My journey here to Baun was accompanied by Olvira Ballo, the Project Manager of “Seeing is Believing” project by Connect Indonesia, The Charity and Doli Nuban Porwata, a Protestant reverend from Kupang who has been volunteering for Connect Indonesia for a few years. We arrived in Baun at midday and in time for lunch with the Kai Ne’e weavers group as planned.

Baun has several active weavers group and the groups are gearing up for producing more textiles using natural dyes. Baun weavers produced beautiful thick hand-spun and handwoven ikat textiles with distinctive pattern and colour of Amarasi. On this occasion, we visited the weavers from the Kai Ne’e weavers’ group and learnt some truly valuable information and history of Baun textiles from them.  Doli regularly visits Baun to deliver sermons in the local churches there, so she knew most of the weavers there and we bonded very quickly with the weavers as a result.

On arrival, we were welcomed by friendly weavers serving some beautiful local cuisine.  Apart from being very famous for their ikat textiles, Baun was also famous for their Sei, smoked meat (usually pork or beef). Whilst the weavers prepared all the lovely food, we offer to bring some Sei with us as part of our contribution to the lunch. We all had such amazing time and this gathering had brought us closer even more.

The weavers demonstrated their weaving skills and showed us a few natural colouring techniques used by the weavers here. The vibrant earthy colours produced in this region and the quality and thickness of the textile produced would make Baun ikat textiles perfect for home decor and upholstery materials. The number of skilful weavers from Amarasi will support a good steady supply of ikats from this region. The problem being is that good marketing is yet to be developed in order to help create good local home industries.

We purchased several Amarasi ikat textiles from the ladies in Baun and can be purchased in our online shop. If you have any queries related to this blog, please do not hesitate to contact me. I have more images from my visit on the gallery below. Thank you for your visit today.