A win for weavers: community entrepreneurship prize

PRCF Indonesia Associate, Fifiyati Hoesni, has been awarded a community entrepreneurship prize for her dedication to the Dayak weaving project in Indonesian Borneo.

‘Dayak’ is a loose term for the indigenous peoples of Borneo. Weaving, an ancestral art form practiced mainly by older Dayak women, is under threat of extinction because younger generations are leaving their villages in search of new opportunities.

The Dayak weaving project aims to revitalize the weaving arts in Desa Tekalong and Sungai Long villages. The project helps weavers obtain the raw materials needed and organizes shared learning activities where older, experienced weavers teach younger women how to make quality traditional textiles. These textiles are then either sold in the market or used to create wearable products.

dayak_weaving_prcfTalking about Dayak Ikat weaving is not just talking about preserving the culture of the Dayak community only, but we are talking how to develop the local economy which was initiated and developed in accordance with local knowledge, intellectual property and the Dayak community as well talk about Kalimantan forest wealth with natural dyes.” – Fifiyati Hoesni, PRCF Indonesia

The Dayak weaving project won first prize in the ‘semi-established’ category of Community Entrepreneurs Challenge Wave IV competition, supporting social entrepreneurship led by women in eastern Indonesia. The annual competition, held by the Arthur Guinness Fund and the British Council, has supported 17 social entrepreneurs across Indonesia since 2010.

Fifiyati started working with Dayak Desa women back in 2001 and Dayak Iban women in 2012. The entrepreneurship award includes a cash prize of Rp. 100,000,000 (roughly USD 8,000) to support the project’s future goals.

Find out more about PRCF’s cultural revitalization program.

And check out Ibu Fifi in action, working with Dayak women in the villages of Indonesian Borneo

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