The Traditional Watublapi Ikat Weaving

Watublapi is a small community in the Sikka district and is well-known for its traditional Ikat weaving. Ikat weaving is practised all throughout Flores but this community still uses practises weaving the traditional way whereas others have switched to industrial weaving and chemical colouring because is it faster and cheaper. The Watublapi weavers use traditional hand-spun yarn made out of local cotton and natural colours.

In the 1980’s the community was assisted in preserving their way of living, with the traditional dances, music and Ikat weaving with the establishment of Bliran Sina; they now work with over 40 members who support each other with different issues like financially. Today, this community works together with Fair Trade organisations and you will be able to find Ikat weaving all over the world.

Visiting Watublapi is a true one-of-a-kind experience and when you register in advance the people will give you a warm welcome with dances and music and you will even be dared to taste sirih pinang (betel nut chew), which is a tradition from the Sikka district. It is believed it will strengthen the teeth but do not worry; the red stain will not last forever. You will also be able to watch the Ikat weaving process from step to step and you can also join the workshop!

Photo courtesy: http://www.flores-indonesia.com/weaving_village_maumere_watublapi.html

 

Travel tips

  • Bargain for a good tour price to 17 islands
  • Make sure to snorkel and explore the marine life
  • Visit Watublapi
  • Take part in an Ikat weaving workshop

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