We have been freed from colonialism, but at this time we are in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic with the ignorance that must be fought within each of us. Welcoming the 76th anniversary of independence, the Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) Foundation, which has 45 libraries spread across Indonesia, held a competition to hone the creativity of the nation’s children through its TBI libraries young visitors. The types of competitions include storytelling competitions in local languages, regional product presentation competitions, and online quiz competitions.

One of the participating TBI libraries is the Elisha Graves Otis TBI library that is located in East Nusa Tenggara, Southwest Sumba Regency. The library joined the competition to welcome the independence day organized by the central TBI Foundation. The interesting thing about the Elisha Graves Otis TBI library, which is located at Wali Ate Elementary School, was the introduction of local products. The student representing Elisha Graves Otis TBI library was Aflorida Diance Ole. The beautiful girl introduced Southwest Sumba regional products, namely the traditional clothes of Southwest Sumba while wearing them for a clearer presentation. She introduced the local sarong (we’e), scarf (kapouta), necklace (rewa), giring-giring (lagoro), machete (katopo) and kaleku.

According to Aflorida’s explanation, sarongs are used for traditional parties, but apart from that, sarongs can also be used to make dresses or skirts for women. In addition to the sarong, there is also a scarf worn slung across the chest. The scarf, or commonly called ‘kapouta’ in the Southwest Sumba language, can also be used by men around the head. This type of scarf is smaller than the cloth (kalabo) which is usually worn around the waist by men. During her presentation, Aflorida also explained about kaleku which is a bag for women that is usually used to store Sumba’s typical betel nut. Kaleku is not too big (photo attached), but it can store quite a lot of betel nut. Kaleku is made from weaved pandan leaves. There are also bells (lagoro) that are worn on the feet. Giring-giring serves to create a rhythm when Sumba women dance. In addition to introducing women’s clothing, Aflorida also introduced traditional clothing or traditional clothing used by men, namely the cloth (kalabo), scarf (kapouta), and machete (katopo). The cloth is used on the men’s waist. After the cloth is tied at the waist, a machete will be inserted between the cloth as a complementary component. So that the cloth tied to the waist does not come off, a scarf or kapouta is tied around it. This scarf is also commonly worn by men on the head. If the men are going to dance (kataga), they are also required to tie the bells on their feet to add to the rhythm when dancing (kataga). These were some of the traditional clothes or attributes introduced by Aflorida.

Based on the competition activities above, we can conclude that this can increase or hone students’ creativity in terms of introducing regional products, as well as remembering and preserving the local customs from their respective regions. Moreover, it can develop the students’ talents. Aflorida, as the representative of Elisha Graves Otis TBI library, would continue to remember the traditional clothes she has introduced. As a participant in the competition, she has trained her ability to speak, convey information, and conclude information.

Viva Inovator!


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