Tais, traditional textile

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 10,000 granted in 2019
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/10/2019 - 31/03/2020
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Timor-Leste


Tais is a form of traditional weaving produced at home or in small groups by women in Timor-Leste, which has been transmitted from generation to generation through oral tradition. The styles and colours vary from one municipality to the other. The cloths are traditionally made of cotton with natural dyes. It used to be very important and valuable in the context of cultural events such as marriages and funerals, since it was considered as a bond between two families during marriages and used during the funeral anniversaries, one year after death.
However, the limited financial support and resources, limited marketing opportunities, disappearing of traditional Tais motifs and the low interest of the Timorese youth are threatening the transmission of knowledge of this oral tradition.
A nomination file will be submitted in March 2020 by the National Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage, with the support of the Secretariat of State for Art and Culture, with the National Commission for UNESCO serving as a focal point. Many activities are planned; meetings, six field visits, a consultation forum that will be held in November 2019 for stakeholders to examine a safeguarding plan.

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