Mother’s Day is round the corner. This year is unlike any other – a year that began with a pandemic, COVID-19, and brought the wheels of most countries to a grinding halt – citizens locked down in their homes, offices shut, factories stopped production, and stores and malls closed. Behind all the despair of the humanity there was a mother figure seemingly happy – a mother who got to take a breather and feel cared for. We are referring to none other than Mother Earth. Happy Mother’s Day dear Mother Earth!
Most of us in Muezart are working from home (WFH) these days.
What about the artisans who work with us? We have come to realize that they find WFH completely normal. They are in the remotest parts of the state (Meghalaya). Their daily routine does not seem to have been affected by the lockdown requirements. In any case, they were working from their homes – except that they take precautions now, when they move around for their day to day necessities.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, we want to dedicate this special day to Kong Molina a lady silkworm rearer in our network.
Kong Molina lives and is mother to 4 - three girls and a boy.
Apart from being a mother, managing her house and raising her children, Kong Molina is rearing Eri silkworms, spinning Eri silk, and weaving with a floor loom. Her work is based on orders she gets from her village contacts.
Kong Molina with her children having dinner
Kong Molina has been a part of Muezart from mid 2019. She started by spinning a Fingering weight yarn for Muezart. Seeing her enthusiasm to take on more and more, Khraw, a Muezart team member and the person who builds relationships with farmers once asked her, “I see that you keep so busy. Despite that, you say that you want to become an expert at spinning the fingering weight yarn. What motivates you?”
Degumming Eri silk cocoons in the backyard of her house
She replied, “I want to rear more Eri silkworms and produce lots of Eri silk cocoons so that I can spin more Eri silk yarn. This new yarn (fingering weight yarn) is different for me. I had never seen it. I want to be an expert in spinning this thicker hand spun yarn. There must be a market for this type of yarn because you are buying it from me.”
Can you hear the entrepreneur in her speaking? We find this same spirit in most lady farmers Muezart works with – the interest to explore new avenues of improving their livelihood.
Kong Molina is self-directed and self-motivated. She spins yarn for Muezart 4 hours per day.
Washing yarn and cocoons at the community wash area
Her quarantine days, due to COVID regulations, is seeing her continuing to process the cocoons for Muezart, taking her daughters out to a local laundry to use their facility to hand wash the yarns and cocoons, cooking a great meal for her kids and feeding her chickens.
When asked if this lockdown has made any changes in her daily routine, she said she got to spend more time with her kids, especially her daughters.
She told us that her girls are also improving in hand spinning Eri silk yarn because they have more time to practice.
Muezart Makers in the making 😊
Cocoons being rinsed after degumming (as a curious pet watches closely)
Molina is also an ‘Asha’ worker – something like a Doula. She is part of a group of women who are taking care of the health of the infants and pregnant women of the village.
Kong Molina represent the many other Eri silkworm rearer Muezart works with. Hardworking, caring, creative and entrepreneurial.
Feeding her chickens
Here is to more energy to Kong Molina – an Eri Silkworm rearer, Eri Silk weaver, Asha worker, a home maker, and above all, a caring mother.
Her daughter’s word sums it up, ‘’My mom is very inspiring and thoughtful. I love her positive spirit. She always advised us to go to school and learn. She is full of energy and she is beautiful.’’
A video of Kong Molina spinning yarn using a traditional drop spindle - A show of dexterous maneuvers
Happy Mothers’ day Kong Molina, all you mums and mums to be.