Journal — Cultural traditions

The Ancient Roots of Block Printed Textiles

Block Printed Textiles Cultural traditions Traditional Techniques

The Ancient Roots of Block Printed Textiles

Throughout Rajasthani history the embellishment of both decorative and utilitarian items has been highly valued by people of all social classes. Homes, clothing, even domesticated animals are often adorned in geometric and botanically-inspired patterns in a joyous array of colors. Art and craft traditions of Rajasthan include hand-woven carpets, jewelry making, wood carving, leather work, metal work, stone carving, puppetry and pottery.  Textile craft is an especially rich tradition of this region. Different areas throughout Rajasthan are known for their unique color preferences, design motifs and techniques. Block printing, batik, tie dye, mirror work, embroidery, and appliqué are techniques used...

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The Symbolic Power of Maasai Beadwork

Cultural traditions Maasai Beadwork Traditional Techniques Women artisans

The Symbolic Power of Maasai Beadwork

Prior to contact with Europeans, Maasai women crafted intricate adornments with beads they made from clay, wood, bone, copper, brass, shells, seeds, and dried grasses. Glass beads were introduced in the 19thcentury by Europeans. Beaded jewelry is worn by both men and women. The colors and patterns communicate information about the wearer’s age, social status, marital status and whether they have male or female children. Both men and women wear beaded pendants that signify the age class or generation to which they belong. The colors and arrangements of beads in jewelry and other embellished objects is a symbolic language meant...

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Why Making Is Important

Craft kits Crafting and Well-Being Cultural traditions

Why Making Is Important

“There is comfort in the act of creating…Whatever the object becomes, it is an expression of ourselves and our identity, quite often using techniques that have been taught to us or passed down through generations or within communities. That’s why traditional crafts can be so emotive. Often we think of someone in our lives who has crafted and it will evoke feelings of nostalgia. Imagine then, the power of this nostalgia when it opens up connections to our ancestors and our cultural heritage” (Kate O’Sullivan, Making Our Way Home, Creative Journeys). Creating with our hands, something from start to finish...

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Dia de los Muertos

Cultural traditions Dia de los Muertos Oaxaca

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Recognized in 2008 by UNESCO on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Dia de los Muertos is a multi-day festival that honors death as a part of life, combining the observation of Catholic feasts with indigenous traditions.

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What does Folkways mean?

Cultural traditions

What does Folkways mean?

The word “folkways” is an anthropological term that refers to the way of life of a particular community or group of people. A way of life can include how people dress and adorn themselves, the food they eat, the objects they make, how they speak to each other, what they believe, their view of reality, the ways they form families, how they organize work: essentially all aspects of social life. Or in a word, culture. Folkways Craft Kits are designed to deepen an understanding of and respectfully celebrate the ways of people from diverse cultures around the world. With each...

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