Woman producing the traditional pots
These past months we have been dedicated to the work of the wonderful pottery makers of the Arlo Village in Atauro.
This pottery is still made using the memories of how the process was done more than 50 years ago. Not long ago, the art of producing sanan rai (clay pot) was nearly lost as locals began to prefer to purchase cheaper metal imports rather than the clay cooking pots made in Arlo and traditionally used by villagers all over the island of Atauro.
Through providing ongoing training, support, and access to markets, Empreza Di'ak is aiding in the cultural preservation of the community and helping villagers become economically self-sustainable through creating their local products.
With the support of our volunteer pottery expert we have been designing new processes that follow the tradition to improve the quality of the final product so that it can be again used for it’s main purpose – to cook. Our volunteer has been testing some different combinations of the raw material and improving the tools to work together with the women of the community and train them on how to produce better pots.
Together with the effort to keep the traditions alive we are also aware of the importance of diversifying products to improve income therefore, together with the training on traditional techniques we are developing resources for a more ‘’modern’’ approach with a different group of women. We are working on developing new pottery products and design with more modern production techniques.
The women are very enthusiastic with this new opportunity and are already thinking of the new designs they aspire to make!
You can follow the project on Facebook and Instagram
If you are in Timor-Leste, visit our local products’ shops in Díli and Atauro(links for map and details), buy unique handicrafts and learn more about our beautiful country and these amazing artisans! If you are visiting Atauro, talk to us to know more about the handicraft workshops.
Sorting the tools for production
Two generations working together