Return to Sight, Lembata Island

As told to by Threads of Life field staff, Yansen Tuan

Wonderful that there are now facilities to remove cataracts in Lembata so people like Kristina can see again

What a miracle that someone living in such a remote place as Lembata Island, who was blind from cataracts for three years, can be treated and returned to sight! Kristina is a master weaver and dyer and among the first twelve weavers Threads of Life worked with in 1998. When William visited her two years ago, she was being led around her house by her daughter, and only recognizing William by his voice. He encouraged her to have the cataracts operated, but she said she was too afraid.. “But you don’t see now. What do you have to lose?” he encouraged, “And you will see again if you have the operation. You are still young. You could still weave!” Continue reading »

In a Lather over Candlenut Oil

Documenting the oiling process with Theresia, Nona, and Fatima

In late July, I was in central Flores, near the town of Ende, with Pung and Wayan from our dye team and Professor Tony Cunningham from Murdock University in Perth, Australia. We were with Theresia Ngeni and the members of the weavers’ group she runs, studying their unusual candlenut oil mordant process for the traditional Morinda red dye. Everywhere across Indonesia, the oiling process utilizes chemical reactions akin to soap making. In most places this involves soaking yarns in candlenut pulp; only around Ende and in Tenganan on Bali is an oil extracted and then used.
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