Inside the weaving protests of West Timor

Inside the weaving protests of West Timor

This article was co-published with The Gecko Project. Read part one of the series here, and watch the film here.  It’s raining, windy, and misty as I head toward the village of Fatumnasi. It’s almost impossible to traverse this clay-and-dirt road in a car, so I’ve hired a motorcycle taxi to take me into the highlands of Timor, an island in eastern Indonesia. I am more than 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) from Jakarta, the nation’s capital. I’m much closer, in fact, to the northern coast of Australia, a reminder of how vast this sprawling archipelago is. Timor is Indonesia’s sixth-largest island. From Jakarta, it’s a two-hour flight, then a four-hour drive through grassy hills that merge into rocky mountains. It’s the rainy season and our surroundings are concealed by mist; we can see no more than 10 meters (33 feet) ahead. This is not my first visit to this part of Timor, once a kingdom known as Mollo. In 2016, I came here with Christian Dicky Senda, a poet from Mollo who wrote a collection of short stories set in his homeland. He introduced me to Matheos Anin, an elder who runs a homestay. Matheos welcomed me to his bulbous house, known as an ume kbubu. He lived there with his wife, along with their chickens, pigeons, dogs, and a weasel. People in Mollo, most of whom belong to the Dawan tribe, live from farming and raising cows and horses. They use their houses not only to sleep, but also…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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