Born in the lake side town of Arba Mich in the most south-western fringe of the Great Rift Valley, in 1972, Mulugeta was already adapt at using the traditional handloom at the age of 14, but the urban setting allowed him also to go to school up to 10th grade. Mulugeta Akie, Master Weaver
Mulugeta comes from a family of master weavers. He learned the craft directly from his father. His favourite pattern, Mulugeta says, comes from the church and he enjoys working with the tricolours of the national flag - green, yellow and red. The degree of difficulty is medium, he says, but he likes working with these as they relate directly to his religion and patriotism.
Working at Muya has removed certain obstacles for Mulugeta and opened him up to many things. He appreciates working with fellow weavers together to come up with high quality and new products. Because of his experience as a master weaver, he works as a quality checker at Muya.
According to Mulugeta, Muya has allowed him to realise the value and wide appeal of his craft and the products it produces based on Ethiopian culture. Mulugeta's dream is for the tradition to be recognised and appreciated both by other artisans, Ethiopians in general and internationally. To that end, he welcomes opportunities offered to him through Muya to train weavers and share his skills.
No wonder Alemu is a master weaver - he was born in an area rich in cotton and known for its craftwork. And he started his own at age 15, and except for the time he spent at school until 7th grade, he has been weaving practically every day of his life ever since.
Alemu Tsela, Master Weaver
True to the tradition, Alemu acquired the craft directly and gradually from his father.
Being a master of the traditional skill and patterns, Alemu likes and insists to venture out to new techniques and designs. He specially enjoys what in the trade is called combined weaving - using various existing styles of weaving to make a new design and pattern. Alemu relishes the technical challenges of new techniques and designs as he aspires to be world famous and "Internationally renowned for new designs and great products".
According to Alemu, coming to Muya "has increased my knowledge and skill - now I know how to combine colours and produce products exactly like the design given to me". Before coming to Muya, Alemu used to discourage his sons from learning the craft. Now he very much likes to teach them all his skill because he is proud of it.