Pusaka Collection - Lio boat motif and myth of origin
Boat motif on a Lio cloth from the Kay Mertens collection. The combination with horses and riders stands for battle. The imagery relates a myth, or perhaps history of origin about people who came from a faraway land by boat, had to battle to earn their right to stay. This type of story is is found on several islands in the Indonesian archipelago. It may relate to people fleeing before the Moslim takeover of the Majapahit empire. But it may equally relate to much earlier events, such as the arrival by boat of people from Southern China by way of Taiwan and settling in these islands.