Slide 1

Yeruton Sae, Antoneta Sae and Rebeka Melu

Since its founding in 2004, the Nek Mese (United Hearts) cooperative of Bokong in Timor has worked hard and grown dramatically. I still remember when we came searching though this village for weavers and met the three sisters – Rebeka Melu, Antoneta Sae and Dorkas Melu – who we encouraged to form the cooperative.

 

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Tais sarong, synthetic dyes, woven by Dorkas Melu, 2004

Tais sarong, synthetic dyes, woven by Dorkas Melu, 2004

At the time we met them, the sisters’ focus was on viagrapill the local market and the use of the bright synthetic colors that the locals prefer. With their detailed warp wrapping technique, known as buna, they rendered small, refined motifs of fish, lizards, grasshoppers, and geckos. What we saw was a unique identity that they could build upon to enter a broader market. However, their work lacked variety. They made only women’s sarongs.

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Tais sarong, natural dyes, woven by Antoneta Sae, 2007

Tais sarong, natural dyes, woven by Antoneta Sae, 2007

At the time we met them, the sisters’ focus was on the local market and the use of the bright synthetic colors that the locals prefer. With their detailed warp wrapping technique, known as buna, they rendered small, refined motifs of fish, lizards, grasshoppers, and geckos. What we saw was a unique identity that they could build upon to enter a broader market. However, their work lacked variety. They made only women’s sarongs.

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Slide 4

The Nek Mese cooperative’s work space

In 2005, the three founders were invited to the YPBB Foundation’s second Nusantara Weavers’ Festival, where they shared experiences and skills with weavers from across the archipelago. Motivated by what they had learned, they set about building their cooperative, which today has thirteen members, a new cooperative workspace and a dye plant garden.

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