Providing IT Skills to the Traditional Weavers of Lombok, Indonesia

The traditional weavers from the villages of Pringgasela and Bayan, Lombok, Indonesia, has been learning the use of digital media to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage while tackling new market opportunities.

The Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture has inscribed the Pringgasela’s weaving as part of the  National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018. Almost 5% of the village residents are weavers, making weaving cloth as their main source of livelihood.

UNESCO in partnership with RedR, Indonesia, and Digital Empowerment Foundation, India, convened a training workshop in Senaru, Lombok on 8- 11 October 2019 to introduce the use of simple design-application for weavers to document their traditional motifs in digital format. The digitalization of motifs will enable them to record community’s collective memory as well as to create and test new designs for better market opportunities. Some 13 weavers consist of 3 men and 10 women participated actively in this new learning experience. During the workshop, they also learnt how to use social media for marketing purpose.  

The workshop was conducted as part of UNESCO Post-Disaster early recovery supports to Lombok ‘s traditional weavers after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the island in 2018.  In addition to digital training, several capacity-building workshops were held on new product development, marketing, and business-disaster mitigation to support the traditional weavers.   

The post-disaster activities in Lombok were supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. It aimed at contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 1 target 1.5 (build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters) and Goal 5 target 5.5 (ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life).