DILI, 21 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The National Directorate of Registry and Notary (NDRN) has legalized the statutes of the Association of Weavers Timor-Leste (Rede Soru Na’in).
The legalization of the statute was an important measure taken to protect and preserve the authenticity of Timor-Leste’s Tais as cultural heritage, as well as to stimulate the income of the families that produce this cultural artifact.
Luciana Guterres, the President of the Association of Weavers Timor-Leste made the comments following the legalization of the organization’s statute.
She pointed out that the legalization of the group’s status was supported by UN Women, in partnership with Timor Aid and the Alola Foundation, with the aim of preserving and protecting the Tais, as an intrinsic product of Timor-Leste’s cultural identity.
The Tais was recognized as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on december 14, 2021, and National Tais Day is celebrated annually on this date.
Guterres explained that the association has around 600 weavers from the municipalities of Baucau, Bobonaro, Covalima, Lautém, Viqueque, and the Special Administrative Region of Oé-Cusse Ambeno (RAEOA).
She added that the creation of the association was aimed at supporting the economy of Tais producers and facilitating their access to markets, and financial resources, and helping in developing business opportunities.
Guterres also stressed that the association is firmly opposed to foreigners and any country wishing to imitate the originality of Timorese Tais.
UN Women’s International Consultant for Economic Empowerment, Joana Coelho, said that in 2018, the organization worked in partnership with Timor Aid and the Alola Foundation to start developing the Tais Weavers Network and pointed out one of the advantages of this legal formalization: “The weavers come from rural areas and don’t have access to the market, but with the creation of the association it can be easier for them to sell their handicraft products in the markets,” she said.
Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins