Reviving Bayan’s woven culture

Posted By : Feri Nur/ 318 0

In many places in Indonesia you will find woven fabrics. Traditionally this fabric takes months to make. And that gives more economic value as tenun now has gained recognition as a product that is not cheap. In Lombok, Bayan’s  indigenous women built a joint business called Petung Bayan. They try to hold local weaving wisdom even though on the other sides they have to leave the original patterns in the process.

Traditionally, a process of woven manufacturing starts from spinning cotton into yarn, gathering natural materials as coloring agents, coloring the yarn, drying, binding, until the weaving process. Women in this community found it difficult to work alone while sometimes market’s demand increase.

So in one case, they are now using yarn bought from textile store, because it takes long time to spin cotton. Also for the coloring process has been changed. Long ago they used natural resources from forest, such as teak leaves, turmeric, komaq leaf, and tarum. It takes time to produce coloring materials. The fast demands of the market forced them to use chemical coloring materials.

“We have to keep up our products to meet market’s demand, and we can do that because not only one person that works. This business group can continue meet the supply in the market”, said Denda Marni who also the chairperson of Petung Bayan Group.

Denda Marni admitted, now the making of woven fabrics from yarn that is spun directly with cotton-based materials, and the use of natural coloring materials, are only for woven that will used in traditional ceremonies.

Petung Bayan was built on 2002 with 16 women as members and keep growing that they invite youths to join. Surely it becomes an economic independency not only for women, by for the community as a whole.

Bayan’s youths already join to tenun (photo: BPAN)

Long ago, the only fabric that could be made for woven was white cloth known as “sasak selasak jarang”. This cloth common used as a shroud wrapper for a dead body before buried. Also used as a blanket for the bride’s guardian at Bayan traditional marriage ceremony.

Currently there are several types of fabric used for weaving.
* abeng kereng with lines pattern and dominantly red color as symbol of brave
* rejasa or the black striped pattern symbolizes strength
* kereng poleng with colorful pattern as symbolizes women beauty like colorful flowers
* lipaq with various types and a triangle shaped headdress such as mountain symbolizes Goddess of Sri. This motif also reflects the fusion of Hinduism in Lombok.

Although only for certain purposes, tenun for rituals, Denda Marni said, at least they have maintained and preserved local wisdom and traditional aspects of the weaving process.

By: Feri Nur Octaviani