Iban Weavers Turn Everyday Items Into Works Of Art

Jul 13, 2017

For many artists in developing communities, creativity is abundant, but cash is not.

In Sarawak on the Island of Borneo, Senia Jugi learned at a young age to weave using bamboo, bembem, arrowroot and rattan. Her ethnic group, the Iban, use baskets for all kinds of everyday tasks as well as ritual occasions. She's advanced far beyond those early years and her works have received the UNESCO-World Crafts Council Award of Excellence.

Jugi is part of the Society Atelier Sarawak and also trains other women to make fine baskets and hats, called topi tunjang, or "sky pointers." Jugi will be among the one-hundred sixty artists from 53 countries at the 14th annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market this weekend.