Bringing a Timor-Leste Weaver to the International Stage

Promoting Timor-Leste’s artisans in the U.S. market has been a top priority for Sandler Trade LLC. We greatly value the cultures of developing countries and deeply committed to bringing the handcrafted arts of Timor-Leste to global attention and markets.

To help boost Timor-Leste’s artisan sector, the INTI RAYMI FUND and Sandler Trade LLC, together with the Embassy of Timor-Leste in Washington DC and Alola Fundasaun in Dili (Timor-Leste), have applied to send a Master Artist Weaver from Timor-Leste to the Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market. The Market, a world-famous event, is set to take place in July 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Meet the Artist

“My name is Cipriana Amaral, and I am 53 years old. I went to primary school when Timor-Leste was still a Portuguese colony. I became a master weaver because my mother was a master weaver, because of tais weaving’s cultural importance, and because of economic demands. I am the Coordinator for the “Feto Forte” (“Strong Women”) group of 20 weavers that was established in 2003 to weave tais (traditional cloth). I live in the Quelicai-Baucau district close to Matebian Mountain with my husband and nine children. Being the head of the household is a big responsibility. I try to do some things to sustain my family’s livelihood, such as weaving and participating in the village’s farming activities. My husband is a teacher in a primary school in Quelicai. My artwork has become a huge part of my life and has brought about a significant positive change in my and my family’s life. I am able to afford to send my children to university and to maintain my family’s health.”

If selected to show at the Market, Mana (Mrs.) Cipriana will bring tais mane (men’s cloth) and tais feto (women’s cloth) woven by her and the Feto Forte. In Quelicai and throughout Timor-Leste, tais are traditional cloths that communicate Mana Cipriana’s Makasae and other distinct indigenous cultural values and messages. According to tradition, Timor-Leste women must learn how to make tais from their mothers or grandmothers in order to get married and to properly dress themselves and their husbands for cultural ceremonies. The tools used for making tais are traditional back strap looms, spindles, warp frames, cotton gins, and tie dye frames. The women work on one piece of tais cloth at a time. The textile motifs in Timor-Leste have been created over centuries using the futus resist dye technique.

A Milestone for Timor-Leste

The opportunity to attend the Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market comes at a very important time for Timor-Leste. As the Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market celebrates its 10th anniversary, Timor-Leste also celebrates its 10th anniversary of the restoration of its independence and diplomatic ties with the United States.

Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is the largest international folk art market in the world, providing an important venue for master traditional artists to display, demonstrate, and sell their work. Every July, more than 150 top folk artists from around the globe travel to historic Santa Fe where thousands of national and international visitors gather for a two-day event to admire and buy folk artwork that reflects the diversity of global cultures. Hence, (if accepted) this will be a huge opportunity for an artisan from Timor-Leste to showcase various Timorese arts and culture.

Sandler Trade, LLC is proud to say that with the help of a private sponsor, the Inti Raymi Fund, and our colleagues and friends at the Embassy of Timor-Leste and at Alola Foundation in Timor-Leste, we have been able to enter Mrs. Cipriana’s application for review by the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market selection committee. We are greatly hoping to hear good news in December, yet understand many artisans from around the world are hoping for similar positive response.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered- Good Luck Timore-Leste

Sandler Trade LLC Making International Trade Really Happen!!!!!!

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