How can one make the most of their youth?
For many of us, youth is the best time of our life. To search for oneself, express one’s feelings, and gain the essential skills for the future—it’s often the time with the steepest learning curve. In the village of Sagatani, a group of teenagers learns the necessary skills of life through nature, culture, and craft for the better future of their community.

How can one make the most of their youth?
For many of us, youth is the best time of our life. To search for oneself, express one’s feelings, and gain the essential skills for the future—it’s often the time with the steepest learning curve. In the village of Sagatani, a group of teenagers learns the necessary skills of life through nature, culture, and craft for the better future of their community.

Aneng, a former Dompeng worker, told us his story when we meet him one day in 2019. It was fast and easy to earn money from Dompeng, and without enough wisdom, it was naturally fast for him to lost all the money on the gambling table. The story got worse when the drug dealing started to creep into villages in Kalimantan. Years after, gold extraction industry in the area was declining, leaving Aneng in perplexity. He has lost his living, and particularly, he has lost his youth.

Two generations ago, Sagatani was a little village surrounded by lush rain forest and the clear, majestic Sarantangan Lake. The forest and the farm provided enough for the people’s need. It all began to change when the gold mining started in Habang area, Sagatani. The forest was cleared and the land was excavated–leaving massive pits here and there. The clear lake is now polluted with mercury and other toxic from the illegal mine.

Dompeng is a local word for an equipment used in illegal gold mining. These loud, thundering machines were scattered around Sarantangan Lake. Dompeng is not only altering the view of the village, it is also changing the life of the Habang people. Gold mine’s easy money often allures the youngsters to leave school. They prefer use their time to extract gold ore, even if it means they have to work with direct contact of toxin and without proper safety equipments.

Aneng, a former Dompeng worker, told us his story when we meet him one day in 2019. It was fast and easy to earn money from Dompeng, and without enough wisdom, it was naturally fast for him to lost all the money on the gambling table. The story got worse when the drug dealing started to creep into villages in Kalimantan. Years after, gold extraction industry in the area was declining, leaving Aneng in perplexity. He has lost his living, and particularly, he has lost his youth.

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Sari presented her work to her friends in a design workshop
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After a product photography class
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Sorting Nyali seeds after drying in the sun
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The boys proudly show off their work
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From sketch to wax carving model to finished product
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His past life motivated him to found Sanggar Sarantangan, a space for the youth of Habang to learn and develop useful skills. Aneng wanted the kids in his neighborhood to know that they can use their time to express themselves in positive ways: through art and craft. In Sanggar Sarantangan, kids and teenagers between 9-20 years old can learn traditional craft, music, and dance of Dayak people.

On the first day we met, it was a coincidence that Edo, one of the Sanggar member, brought a beaded rosary. Initially made for her mom, he crafted the rosary from Nyali Seeds. Nyali is a seeds from a type of grass, widely grow in the forest of Sagatani. When the seeds is ripe enough, the skin turns hard and shiny.

The seeds come in various shapes and colors: white, milky brown, and some in cream with black lines and dots. Some of them even look like pearls! We decided to collect the seeds, walking in the forest browsing for the Nyali grass. At the end of the day, we collect enough seeds to learn how to make craft from it. The Nyali seeds were beaded to make necklaces, bracelets, and purse. We also brought some grass to plant in the backyard of the Sanggar. Later did we know that Nyali seeds were used in Dayak traditional beading long before glass and plastic beads were commonly used.

The discovery of Nyali seeds leads to the founding of Insode Craft. Insode Craft is a tool for the youth of Habang to learn about their natural surroundings and how to make use of it in sustainable way through art and craft. As Aneng once said, the youth has to know that they have a chance to learn and to live a better live–to once again have a living from the land of Sagatani. This time, in the more humane and environmental-friendly way.

Products & Collaborations

INSODE designs and produces a wide range of accessories, statement jewelry, and art objects. We also collaborate with designers and brands to develop unique designs that also speaks of our tradition. Find out more information by clicking on link below.

Merchandise


Support the program of Sanggar Sarantangan by buying their merchandise from Nyalik Seeds! Each transaction gives the teens of Sanggar a chance to learn how to run a business, from managing a supply chain, producing the craft to marketing the finished product.

Product Collaboration


Make the impossible possible through collaboration! We welcome any fresh collaboration idea. We can work together to make our dreams come true while promoting social awareness for our assisted youth community in Sagatani Village.

Let’s make it happen!