Discovering Tenun Cacag Batuan

Bali has one valuable woven cloth craft, namely “Tenun Cacag,” which once existed in Banjar Dentiyis, Batuan Village, Sukawati District, around the 1950s. This woven cloth was a big interest for foreign tourists visiting Bali. The beautiful “Tenun Cacag” with various motifs is usually sold to hotels that tourists use as souvenirs.

Tenun Cacag was a huge trend back then. But now, the precious cultural heritage is hardly found nor distributed to the market. During its heyday, most of the women in one Banjar could weave or spin yarn. Today, from many existing tenun makers, only one person is left. Her name is Ni Made Mirib. She is now 76 years old. Even though her ability is not as strong as before, she continues to weave at his home in Banjar Dentiyis, Batuan Village, Gianyar.

Made Mirib admitted that since she was a child, she has been in touch with this activity. When she was young, her parents used to bring raw materials in the form of cotton, then Made Mirib passionately tore up cotton rolls to be dried in the sun. From cotton, it is wound into thread and then spun with a tool similar to a bicycle wheel. “In the past, weaving was the main source of income. If you don’t weave, you can’t buy rice,” she said. She admits that this weaving activity is complicated. Compared to the current millennial era, Made Mirib understands that many of her friends decided to quit weaving. Most of them have found a new profession. “There are friends of mine who became a seller and those who make means of religious ceremonies or became a farmer in the rice fields. As a person who cannot work in the rice field, I choose to stay at home,” she added.

Made Mirib continued to weave after helping her daughter-in-law complete the household chores. “I weave, so there is something I can do,” she said. There are a few tenun made by Made Mirib. It probably can be counted on the fingers. Made Mirib made the tenun not for sale but only for personal use. The Tenun is usually used to decorate the holy place where Hindu people pray. This woven cloth was also made for his granddaughter. “I made one for my granddaughter. It was used by her when dancing the Rejang Sutri at the Batuan Village Temple,” she explained.

The tenun has a high potential to be sold, but Mrs. Made never really thinks about it. Even if it were sold, she estimates that a piece of cloth 1 or 2 meters long could cost millions of rupiah. It’s just that, at that price, people rarely buy it except for those who see the cloth as a work of art. As she remembered, every resident’s house had a loom in the past. Now, some still have tools but are in damaged condition. Some have even been demolished. Made Mirib admits that he still weaves, relying on the taste at this old age. “Because the eyes are already myopic, I weave using feelings only,” she added.

As one of the traditional cultural heritages, this weaving still needs to be preserved, considering its price and artistic value, which is still highly valuable.

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