What started as an organization with a few mothers who were weavers grew into a social enterprise in the East Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Created in 2014, Du Anyam was formed to address socioeconomic problems behind high birth mortality rates and poor health issues.

In East Flores, the community’s income from agriculture was low, seasonal, and prone to crop failures. Du Anyam set out to create jobs by supporting the women’s existing skills of wicker weaving, allowing women to earn an income from home while overseeing family responsibilities or opting to weave and collaborate at the Du Anyam Weaving House.

Du Anyam now works with approximately 1,000 artisan women, typically ranging in ages 25 to 65, across 30 villages. At its core, Du Anyam works to empower women, support their livelihoods and their families’ livelihoods, and promote cultural traditions. Du Anyam believes the real power of these skilled artisan women has come from within themselves as they grow and support one another daily.

To make these pieces, artisans preserve the Kepitang, or hexagonal pattern, palmyra weaving technique, which is an ancient tradition of East Nusa Tenggara. It represents the connection among the culture, religion, and government in their everyday lives. To begin, they gather and sun-dry the palmyra leaves, which are sustainably and freshly sourced from the trees. Then, artisans shred the leaves into smaller pieces and preserve them through a water boiling process before weaving. Palmyra trees grow in abundance in East Nusa Tenggara and are unique to the local ecosystem.

Du Anyam offers an alternative means of employment outside of agricultural work through the wicker weaving technique, which has been passed down across generations. Traditionally, women have created and used the baskets and boxes for gathering the harvest and for offerings in ceremonies. Artisans working with Du Anyam have access to better healthcare services and nutrition, community development workshops, household finance training, literacy programs, personal development programs, and training programs. In addition to supporting the growth of the artisans, Du Anyam supports the community at large, such as through scholarships.

Are you interested in learning more about this group and their product offering? Please email us at hello@thelittlemarket.com for details and contact information.