Handicraft and Strengthening Women's Economy
In a woman's life, one has played an important role as a pillar in fulfilling her family's daily life. Women are the most formidable supporters, because men usually play a role in everyday households working as farmers with monthly income so that women take her role to streamline the consumption of their family life. This issue was also conveyed by Titik Hartini from the Association of Small Business Women (ASSPUK). Titik tells us that women's handicrafts, especially weaving, originally are not for traded. However, weaving crafts are growing as they struggle to meet their daily needs.
ASSPUK is a non-profit organization that accompanies thousands of women and women's groups who runs small-scale enterprises and businesses located across 22 provinces throughout Indonesia. Currently weaving products are the flagship product of women's weavers community. There are at least 1,530 women weavers throughout Indonesia.
"When we enter the Asian economic community (MEA) we must be able to survive. There are some examples that currently occurs when the batik from China enter the market, it affects the batik results from the craft of Solo to decrease. We should really take a note on this," said Titik.
"We must preserve the weaving product, so it becomes our signature trademark and not affected by other products entering Indonesia. As the MEA era begins, the intellectual property rights of the community should have been a patent first, to avoid being copied or imitated by other countries."
The future challenge, according to Adinindyah from Lawe, lies in how the social business community pursue the availability of quality woven raw materials. "At the moment we are constrained in terms of fulfilling the raw material itself. Our challenge now is to establish our identity from the products we make and not be stamped as a mass-produced item. If weaving is being produced massively, it will eliminate the identity of the weaving itself."
Weaving and Getting Married
Nowadays, people from Boti tribe of East Nusa Tenggara province are still keeping the tradition by teaching their daughters from the age of five on how to be good at weaving. If they are not able to weave yet, they should not be married. While boys are taught to be good at gardening, so they can fulfill the needs of his family life. If men's income are lacking, then women can help their husbands by selling their weaving products.
This tradition also applies to women of Kajang tribe in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. A woman who want to get married should have the skills to weave. The difference is, in Kajang they have to weave as many as 50 pieces of cloth to give to their in-laws. If there is no weavers in Kajang, it will cause a household income problem. Also in Kajang, in order to make a shiny weaving product, the weavers are using the sea-snails shell and rubbed them to the product to create a bright, shiny color effect.Â