Let’s build a Weaving House for the Traditional Weavers of Savu

The traditional weavers of Savu formed the Tewuni rai group in the village of Pedèro fourteen years ago. Tewuni rai means ‘Placenta of the earth’. The weavers carry on a tradition for which their village has been famous since the 19th Century.

Members of Tewuni Rai

The forty members of Tewuni rai are known for the quality of their hand-woven cloths and the rich colours of their natural dyes; they are eager to keep alive the knowledge entailed in the cloths. Their textiles are produced on back tension looms.

Weaving Savu Fundraising
Red dye Savu
Ikat Savu Fundraising

Formed in 2006 the group still has no weaving centre and has never received any government help to build such a centre. Thus,

Let’s build a weaving house for the traditional weavers of Savu island!

It is the wish of the Tewuni rai weavers to have their own centre. Until now they hold meetings at the house of Ibu Bendelina Buki who is the leader of the group.

The Weaving House will be an open building in the shape of a traditional Savunese house with an extended roof ridge. It will be closed at one end to allow storage of material. The building is rectangular, 10m long by 6m wide. A covered terrace, floor tiles and a fence will be added depending on the money available. (Plans drawn by David Pont, Savu).

plan entry weavers building savu fundraising

plan weavers building savu fundraising

The primary purpose of the Weaving House is to hold meetings to decide on tasks and strategies, to welcome visitors and guests and display textiles and products for sale, to store material needed for weaving demonstrations and hold demonstrations for visitors, as well as holding workshops to those eager to experience and learn the techniques. The goal is also to educate members in business skills such as book keeping and give them basic knowledge in English for communicating with foreign visitors, to teach school children and teenagers weaving skills so that the knowledge does not get lost, and finally to teach weavers how to make accessories out of damaged and unsellable cloths.

Projects have been realised for the people of Pedèro between 2016 and 2018.

In 2016-17 with the support of private sponsors and especially the Foundation “Les Puits de l’Espoir” (André Graff) the villagers had access to clean water near their houses.

fetching water from well savuFrom the well…

fetching water from well savu fundraising…to the tap

In 2017-18 through private donations, “Les Puits de l’Espoir”, the NGO Agir and the French Embassy in Jakarta, a phyto-sanitation system was built for the weavers’ village. It comprises showers, toilets, a laundry terrace, a dyeing station, a motorcycle washing platform, and a trough for the cattle.

laundry savu fundraisingThe laundry

dye station savu fundraisingThe dye station. The use of buckets limits the amount of water needed.

Water for household from the tapWater for household from the tap

water basins savu fundraisingThe basins are planted with reeds for cleaning the waste water before it returns to the pond.

Twice a year, I (Geneviève Duggan) visit the island and supervises repairs and maintenance work. I have a long experience in supporting the Tewuni Rai weavers. 100% of the donations under my responsibility go to the projects.

In 2020 the island of Savu was hit not only by swine flu, but also by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Tewuni rai weavers are struggling to access material (yarns) and to sell their cloths. The Foundation “Meet the Makers Indonesia” (www.mtmindonesia.com) created a website to help traditional artisans, among them the Tewuni rai weavers, to sell their work online.

The weavers’ wish is to build their Weaving House in 2022.

You can help make this dream come true!

The goal is to raise: USD 10.000

You can donate through two Foundations: “Tracing Patterns” (TPF) and “Meet the Makers Indonesia (MtM)”.


As designation, please choose Meet the Makers – Tewuni rai.

Donations of USD 250 will be honored with the gift of a handwoven shawl with ikat patterns in indigo from Tewuni rai.

Further contacts:Email:

WA: +62 812 3994 3373 managed by Mrs Ice Tede Dara, secretary and accountant of Tewuni rai. She also manages a FB account under the address:


For more information on Tewuni rai, see:

The website of Meet the Makers Indonesia:

“Savu island: Greater and Lesser Blossoms will prevail” in Garland Magazine https://garlandmag.com/article/savu/

weavers on community house plot savuWeavers on the plot of land donated for their community house