Tais are the traditional woven cloths made by women in Timor-Leste. They are an essential part of the nation’s cultural heritage, widely used as a unit of exchange, they are generally worn by men and women during traditional ceremonies. There are as many tais designs as there are family clans across the districts of this troubled new nation. With the intention to conserve and promote these traditional weaving techniques, the Secretary of State for Arts and Culture commissioned to Timor Aid the research and publishing an collection of books aiming at covering the nation’s textile heritage.
The initial research was conducted by Joanna Barrkman, Southeast Asia textile curator, in close collaboration with by Rosalia Soares, senior researcher at Timor Aid, editor and writer of the series from the second volume onwards. David was commissioned to design the first two books ‘The textiles of Covalima’ (2014) and ‘The Textiles of Lautem’ (2015) into 3 editions to accommodate the official 2 official languages (Tetun and Portuguese) as well as English for the obvious international market. From the third issue onwards—’The Textiles of Baucau’ (2016) and ‘The Textiles of Bobonaro’ (2017), the books were designed into a 3-language inclusive format. Please feel to browse some first two issues below: