Challenging Times in Kalumpang, Sulawesi

20130301-150907.jpg

Mapping dye plant resources in Sulawesi

In December 2012 we received a shipment of three bales containing 84 textiles from the most remote communities we work with in the Kalumpang region of West Sulawesi. (See the May 2011 Field Notes). The shipment included 57 of the large 150 x 200 cm (60 x 80 inch) Sekomandi and Marilotong textiles, and 27 smaller Selendangs. This seemed like yet another triumph for our work with a group of weavers that has grown from two to 54 women over the course of ten years. The weavers’ isolation means our field staff get to visit them at most once a year. So to help the weavers gain access to Threads of Life and other potential buyers, we have been facilitating the development of seven weavers’ cooperatives. In this way, weavers work together, combining their efforts and pooling resources so that they can ship textiles to us when we are unable to visit them. This process had been going well since 2009, but suddenly with the most recent shipment, something appeared to be wrong.

Continue reading »