During my 8-day stay at Lepo Lorun, A Women's Weaver Cooperation in Flores, Indonesia I was amazed how many talents these weavers have. From their work; making the traditional textile Ikat to cooking festive meals 3 times a day, playing instruments and take care of their children and husband. After 8 days I had a good image of their daily routine. Especially when your hut (left in picture) is in the middle of their working/ livingspace.
These women start the day around 6 am, when it's still cold outside. They make preparations for the day: cleaning the work/ living space, prepare for breakfast an prepare for work. What they have to prepare for work depends on where they are in the 45-step-process of making Ikat. Ikat are traditional Indonesian hand-woven textiles, the word 'Ikat' means tying the threads with a motif (design), so when the threads are dipped in a dye bath the motig will appear. The tied parts stay uncolored. Learn more about Ikat and the process of Ikat.
The Ikat process is extremely hard work but the weavers enjoy work; being together, singing and gossiping. The whole day they have the best big laughs. Even though I can't understand Behasa Sikka I enjoyed just being with them having such a great time an no stress at all.
Around 11 am preparation for lunch begins. This means going to the local market or just take a huge axe abd search for food. Flores has a good climate for growing trees and plants. There are coconuts, bananas, cacao, papaya, cassave, cashew and wheat growing everywhere. And probably many more things but I haven't seen it during our scavenger hunts for food.
After lunch they take short breaks from making the Ikat cloths to play traditional music. Mostly one person starts and others join, playing instruments, singing or dancing. Sometimes their children are there too and join.
Around 6 pm they stop working and clean up their workspace and prepare dinner. Mostly the ingredients are already bought or found in the afternoon. Dinner is always a feast, I couldn't stop eating. You can taste the dedication and freshness.
After dinner the party can begin! It's time for music, dancing and singing. People from all over the village visit the Lepo Lorun group in the evening; husbands, children, family and friends. They drink 'wine' (palm wine min. 40% alcohol) and enjoy the evening.
Around 11 pm they're off to bed for a few hours sleep. The process of making Ikat is extremely hard work and they make long days but somehow it works for them. They're having the best time of their life by living in the moment.
Can't wait to visit them again in 2015!
This story is a short version of the daily routine of the women at Lepo Lorun. Want to learn more? Please visit Lepo Lorun in Flores, Indonesia Contact: Alfonsa Horeng
The Flores Collection, made by the lovely weavers of Lepo Lorun and my aunt are now available at Discovered