Mama Fun’s real name is Marlinda Nau, Fun is taken from her son’s name. She is a member of Lakoat.Kujawas and has a focus on local food development.
At first, Mama Fun knew Biennale Jogja from the arrival of one of the residency participants, namely Dyah Retno, to Lakoat.Kujawas, in Mollo. It was where Mama Fun lives. On that occasion, Dyah researched the potential of local land there.
After getting soil samples from the river in Fatumnasi Village, together with the Lakoat.Kujawas community and the surrounding community, Dyah then cultivated the land. Starting from mixing the clay with water until it became a slurry, it was then filtered using a coconut milk filter to separate the soil from stones or sand, and then dried in the sun for several days.
Mama Fun was very interested when the pottery workshop was held. She learned to make pottery and decorate it with typical Mollo motifs for the burning process. The results of the workshop were then exhibited at the Lakoat.Kujawas library. Her high enthusiasm for learning did not stop her when the exhibition was over until finally she was chosen to represent her community to Yogyakarta and attended the Biennale Jogja (BJ) XVI Equator #6 2021.
In Yogyakarta, Mama Fun shared her local knowledge and at the same time absorbed various experiences that she could apply when she returned to her homeland. To fulfill that, BJ XVI facilitated it in the residency program.
Mama Fun’s first residency trip was to visit Pagesangan School. According to her, the concept of the Pagesangan School has similarities with Lakoat.Kujawas, mainly related to management and its challenges.
Mama told Murni, one of the managers of the Pagesangan School, about some materials that were still in the experimental process. One example is Moringa leaves which are currently in the experimental process. The Pagesangan School has so far found no way to prevent the green color of Moringa leaves from turning yellow after drying.
Mama Fun shared her version of the process of drying Moringa leaves. At the initial stage, what she did was different from Murni, namely by putting it in the oven after it was picked. The color of the Moringa leaves will come out and after they are perfectly green, they can only be removed from the oven and dried in the sun. But must be covered with a black cloth so as not to affect the aroma and the green color is maintained.
Another similarity is the involvement of children in local food cooking, writing classes, and cultural schools, and taking children farming. However, according to Mama Fun, the most interesting aspect at Pagesangan School is that even pre-school age children can be encouraged to the garden and learn how to cultivate the land.
This process, according to Mama Fun, is very interesting because teaching how to cultivate and farm at an early age is considered important because the knowledge will be retained until adulthood. They will consider themselves able to survive and be empowered in the village by farming without having to go out of town.
Mama Fun talked about food that she thinks is similar to tiwul, a food made from cassava with also similar cooking method. The difference is, where she lives, the food is called laku tobe. Other foods made from cassava also have similarities, with many modifications in the manufacturing process, but the result is the same.
Mama Fun’s next trip was to Bakudapan. She met Bakudapan members such as Ms. Mon, Ms. Lis, and several others. They talked about available wild food that could be used as an alternative to food security.
Mama Fun started the visit by walking around the Bakudapan garden and finding wild plants that also grow in Mollo, where the locals use them for medicine. A type of Madeira vine plant in Mollo is used as a stomach medicine. It’s used by mixing it with porridge and consumed every morning. In addition, it can also be used as a wound medicine.
Aside from plants, there is one food in Mollo that is similar to bakpia, but with a more complicated process. Because of this residency, Mama Fun has gained new knowledge about a more effective cooking method. If in Mollo, they can only produce 50 bakpia in a day, now they can produce 50 or more in 1 hour with the method that has been distributed in Bakudapan. The difference is only in the process. The method in Mollo is to grind one at a time and many times and each layer of the dough must be grounded, but the method shared by Kak Mon, is only rolled and cut into pieces, then added with other ingredients and finally shaped.
Aside from Pagesangan and Bakudapan Schools, Mama Fun also visited Agradaya and Bumiranah. There, Mama found a lot of ingredients that turned out to be tea. Aside from drinks, Mama Fun is also very interested in product packaging. Mama takes photos as documentation so that she doesn’t forget and can share them with her community.
Mama plans to implement the management and packaging process for the food lab in Lakoat.Kujawas because her community has also been selling products. Product sales during the pandemic are done online because those who absorb their products generally come from outside of Mollo. During the pandemic, sales cannot be carried out in large quantities because many shipping places are closed.
The transaction can be done personally, as well as in the community. When the transaction is carried out through the community, the agreement is to share a percentage of the money to the cooperative, which can then be used for the education and health of the depositor’s family.
Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 2021 opens a new network for Mama Fun from various places and supports each other. Mama Fun hopes that other communities in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) are also invited to get a network not only within NTT but also outside.