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Ilma Savari has created the first part of the design of the modadai (swift) bird. The cross design represents the two beautiful long tail-feathers of the modadai as they fall and cross over each other when it sits in the tree. This is an ancestral sihoti’e design (design of the mud) whose origins can be traced back to the Koruwo village area on the Managalasi plateau c.1880. The design was sewn with a bat-wing bone needle and a river reed was shredded to create the sewing thread.
The Ömie creation story tells of how the very first sihoti’e nioge was created by Suja, the first Ömie woman and mother of the world, under instruction from Mina, the first Ömie man, after she experienced her first menstruation. Suja dyed the plain barkcloth in the volcanic clay at the River Uhojo at the base of the sacred Mount Obo. Suja wore the mud-dyed barkcloth during her menstruation and lived in seclusion in a small hut known as jé’o jarwé (also called ivi’ino’ové’tové) for its duration
Title: Mododa’e diburi’e biojë’oho (Tail-feathers of the swift when sitting in the tree)
Artist: Ilma Savari (Ajikum’e)
Medium: Appliquéd mud-dyed nioge (barkcloth)
Dimensions (cm): 113 x 53.5cm
Hanging device: Timber dowel attached (sewn on with fabric) with two wire loops on either end to hang on two screws or nails
Catalogue Number: 13-000
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