Stefan Danerek is a linguist and author, with an expertise in modern Indonesian literature, endangered languages documentation, oral traditions and ikat textiles. After receiving his doctorate 2006, his desire to study another Austronesian language and to do ethnographic work led him to language documentation in 2013. Palu’e – a language and an island – was his chosen language and destination.
His interest in ikat grew over the years during his visits to Flores and Palu’e, but especially after he and his local partner and friend, Ratu, discovered that much was still unknown about Palu’e ikat. They were able to reproduce a few textiles from ragged heritage cloths and, with the support of Stefan’s brother, Magnus, they began a small-scale revitalization in late 2016. At the beginning the project focused around one weaver, who was also a dyer and tyer. They also decided to work with natural dyes, the use of which had died out some 30 years previously. Since then, three more weavers have joined the revitalization project and by late 2018, a full inventory of traditional cloths had been made.