Weaver and Cultural elder
- Expedition Team,
Susan Jieta is a master Jaki-ed weaver and cultural elder from Mejit Island.
Jaki-ed is a technique historically employed to make mats that were worn by Marshallese people prior to colonization. They are made from pandanus and bordered with intricate geometric designs. Dress mats express value and status and tell stories of ancestors, nation and community.
“Marshallese handicrafts were always something I liked to do,” she added. Susan first learned how to weave a Maloelap mat. Years later, she moved on to learn the Marshallese fine weaving style known as Jaki-ed. This started in 2002 when she attended a workshop hosted by Women United Together Marshall Islands after hearing about it on the radio and she thought to herself she should give it a try. “It was the first time I heard the word Jaki-ed,” she said.
Her goal is to see more young women taking an interest in weaving. Although she understands that it is not easy, she’s working towards it by helping others learn the skill.