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Sumba Women Dressing Up in Sarongs from Flores

This remains one of my favorite photographs, probably because the woman on the left is depicted, as well, in the photo entitled Sumba Woman in Black Sarong.
This was taken in the late 1970s in northeastern Sumba while visiting the local Raja of that area. These two young women were part of the royal household. When they consented to be photographed, they went off to get dressed - and returned wearing Flores sarongs (Flores is the neighboring island to Sumba to the north.). They are wearing small ikatted Sumba shawls over their shoulders.
The young girl on the right is not ready for marriage - and this is shown publicly by shaving their hair in the particular style shown here.
This photo depicts, too, how the women often wear their tubular sarongs: they step into them, fold the upper portion down and then hold it up by simply keeping one arm pressed to their waist to “pin” the sarong up.


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