As winter is approaching in Australia I decided to purchase a hand-woven cotton scarf made by Zutujil Women Artisans of Guatemala on the southern tip of Mexico in Central America. Keeping the traditions of their ancestors, my gorgeous scarf was hand-woven (by hand of course) on a Traditional Backstrap Loom and naturally dyed with shades of green/yellow derived from the ancient Chilca Plant. It takes about three days to dye the threads before the weaving commences.
My scarf came well wrapped inside a sturdy box. I was pleasantly surprised to see an adorable tiny handmade “Worry Doll” attached with a red ribbon bow tied around my parcel. This little doll came with a note explaining the Maya tradition behind the making of these dolls. How thoughtful! A postcard of Antigue in Guatemala, with a personally signed thank you message from one of the women artisans, accompanied the “Worry Doll”. The cotton fabric and open-weave of my scarf felt lovely around my neck.
I truly appreciate these women artisans’ hours of laboured work. The scarf was very well made. Most of them have been weaving on Traditional Backstrap Looms since they were ten years of age; skills handed down from mother to daughter from one generation to another.
Novica, a charitable humanitarian and innovative organization actively supports and encourages the well-being and prosperity of others such as the Zutujil Women Artisans of Guatemala. Their brilliant idea of bringing developing countries arts and crafts to a Worldwide Market via the Internet has made a huge difference in the lives of the artisans, who make these arts and crafts, as well as their families.
Novica is helping them to be fruitful in their community; to conserve their tradition which enables them to dress, feed and educate their children. This is their livelihood and I wanted to help too. I wanted to buy an artisans product but at the same time review it to spread the word.
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The artisans, whom Novica works with, come from developing countries in seven regions of Bali, Brazil, Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru and Thailand. Having part ownership (nineteen percent) of Novica, National Geographic has contributed to their success.
“We are very thankful to Novica, because up to now we were only able to sell to tourists on the streets, outside handicraft markets. We are also thankful for Novica customers, for your interest in our culture and for inviting our products into your homes. By doing so you are contributing to the realization of our goals. Rest assured you are in our prayers.”
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