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La Uma

Things started missing in the village once a big fire burned down thirty houses at night. The disappearance occurs in a flash, leaving marks on the ground.

A still wanders to the remainder of the house to mourn over her broken plates scattered around the ashes. She cooks every day for fifteen people in her Uma.

R was about to jump into the fire when she realized her woven indigo textile, which took a yearlong labor to make, had been burned. Without that, I’m as good as dead.

M would stand near the shore, chanting a prayer. But when the tears flow, it doesn’t matter who she mourns over now; her house, her dead son, or her cheating husband.

La Uma portrays commonalities in the way people of Kodi Balaghar use the outside as a space for living and mourning that often was kept in private, away from the public. It is an attempt to understand Sumbanese ways of living as an alternative form of family structure symbolized in the spatiality and identity of their Uma.

Produced with support from the Magnum Foundation & World Monuments Fund

© 2024 Fransisca Angela