What We Do
Batak Craft is an effort to rehabilitate the Batak Tribe’s physical and cultural health by addressing the root causes of their depopulation through enterprise facilitation: specifically, by creating a sustainable basket-weaving business for the Batak.
Batak Craft addresses the main problem of the Batak: poverty. Being a hunter-gatherer tribe, the Batak are ill-equipped to operate in today’s market economy. Without access to education, they have a hard time working with lowlanders and finding appropriate jobs, and therefore earning a steady income. With the forest-resources on a steady decline, the Batak are losing more and more of their natural food source, health, and cultural identity.
Our solution is to work within the tribe’s cultural foundation: Batak Craft will develop the tribe’s skill and process efficiency in traditional basket-weaving, document the tribe and its culture alongside, and sell their products to the international market. Batak Craft will achieve four goals: enable the Batak to earn a sustainable living, document the cultural practices before it vanishes, disseminate the information to a global audience, and inspire the Batak to nourish their culture. With this project, the Batak can earn enough for their basic needs like food and medical treatment, since majority of them are malnourished and sick. Then when the basics are covered, they can begin to think about self-actualization.
We’re working on the field! Stay tuned for updates.
Are you a researcher, nonprofit fieldworker, or traveler, whose work often includes traveling to rural areas and hiking to far-flung, marginalized communities? If this is one of your first times […]
Fascinating. Was just studying the Batak’s natural healthcare system, and I’m in awe of how deeply spiritually-integrated they are with the environment. They have “humans we don’t see”, wood spirits, […]
“Kagabi, hindi ako nakatulog nang maganda. Nagbangon ako agad, [naga-sungod-sungod]. Nagalabas yung [nana] kagabi! Ah, bangon ako kaagad. Hindi ako makatiis. Lagi naga-kirot.” Translation: Last night, I didn’t sleep well. […]
Last December 10-12, 2014, we visited the engineer who invented the eKawayan machines at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). Engineer Jose Zafaralla, a veteran who has been with MMSU for […]
At its heart, Batak Craft is made up of people who have a passion for the tribes and the environment, driven by a mission to preserve the local traditional heritage and help facilitate the Batak Tribe’s transition into this new economy.