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Apai
Apai
Ceremonial Floor Mat (2006)
  • Woven by Oneng
  • Randa Empas village, East Kalimantan
  • Rattan cane
  • 102 x 195 cm. (40 x 77 in)
  • Code # C.BS.PR.024

Weaving a rattan apai in a traditional longhouse,
East Kalimantan
Durable, plain-woven mats called lampit cover the floors in most Dayak longhouses. But to receive guests and perform ceremonies, the Dayak Bantian lay out special patterned mats called apai. Most apai bear intricately woven plant motifs, or illustrate stories of the clan gods and ancestors. Very few weavers have the skill to produce these beautiful mats.

Over-harvesting has already eradicated wild rattan from the forests of western and central Kalimantan. The Rattan Project, an Indonesian non-profit organization based in East Kalimantan, helps local farmers to develop sustainable, cultivated supplies of rattan. The group also helps Dayak cooperatives to create new products based on traditional designs, and to reach markets outside their home areas. Each Rattan Project mat or basket expresses the Dayak people`s will to sustain their traditions and preserve their forests for future generations. Threads of Life buys rattan products only from groups that develop renewable supplies.