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Community Development: Kain Makna

Building on the success of Chapters One and Two, we proudly introduce our latest initiative, MAKNA (/mak·na/), meaning "purpose."

As a nonprofit organization, our goal is to amplify the voices of women by showcasing and promoting their rich tenun heritage to the global community. By doing so, we empower women in villages to redirect the four hours spent on water collection towards more productive pursuits.

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In the village of Desa Umutnana, situated in Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), women engage in the daily art of weaving kain tenun. However, unlike some tenun communities on the island with access to markets near the capital of NTT, the Umutnana Tenun Community faces geographical challenges. This has led to a gradual decline in the tradition of weaving, particularly among younger girls—a concern for the women of the village. Our initiative, Kain Makna, aims to rejuvenate the purpose of weaving for the women of Desa Umutnana by facilitating the sale of their handmade kain tenun. The tenun community comprises over 40 women from Umutnana and its sister village, As Manulea.

Meet Mama Yuliana

A 39-year-old homemaker blessed with two daughters and a son, her daily routine underwent a positive transformation when solar-powered pumps were introduced to the village in 2017. The exhausting hour-long trek to the nearest reservoir for four gallons of water is now a thing of the past. With this newfound time, she engages in the art of weaving kain tenun—a traditional artisanal fabric renowned for its sharp and intricate details—alongside her friends.

Each woman in this community possesses a cherished traditional wooden weaving tool passed down through generations. They dedicate themselves to crafting a single piece of tenun from start to finish. Depending on factors like material, pattern, and size, completing a piece of tenun can take anywhere from one week to several years.

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