Mea and the Palm Flowers
Meirina Soe (author), Sandra Sardjono (editor), Wini Boenadhi (illustrator), Ice Tede Dara (contributor), Geneviève Duggan (contributor)
Publisher: Tracing Patterns Foundation (November 30, 2021)
Paperback: 52 pages
Item Weight: 5.6 ounces
Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.13 x 8.5 inches
The book was inspired by the traditional lives, including the rich ikat textile tradition, on the island of Savu in Indonesia. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl named Mea who lives in Pedero village. When she was old enough to participate in the Harvest Festival, she learned the importance of her family’s ikat patterns.
Mea and the Palm Flowers is rich with authentic details of the sceneries, houses, festivals, and textiles of Savu. The cultural advisors for this project were Ice Dara, a Savunese weaver from the Tewuni Rai Cooperative, and Geneviève Duggan, an anthropologist of Savunese culture.
The making of Mea and the Palm Flowers was initially prompted by our desire to help Indonesian artisans who experienced the devastating impact of Covid-19 on their livelihoods. We decided to work with the Tewuni Rai Woman’s Weavers Cooperative in Savu to make this children’s book. Our aim is twofold: introducing traditional textiles through an engaging story and illustrations and raising funds for the weavers through the sales of the book. We are donating half of the book’s sale proceeds to the weavers of the Tewuni Rai Cooperative.