Journal — Fair trade

The Symbolic Power of Maasai Beadwork

Cultural traditions Fair trade Maasai Beadwork Makers Tanzania 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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A Celebration of Women Entrepreneurs

African baskets Basketry Craft kits Culture kits Fair trade Tanzania Women artisans Women entrepreneurs WomenCraft

A Celebration of Women Entrepreneurs

November 19th is National Entrepreneurs Day and in honor of this day we want to spotlight women entrepreneurs. Folkways Culture Kits has fostered a special interest in the livelihood of women artisans such as the women basket weavers from WomenCraft in Tanzania. Here is the story that WomenCraft shared with us: Hadija lives with her seven children in a remote rural village called Mwivuza in the rolling hills of the Kagera region, one of least developed regions in the northwest of Tanzania. Their traditional mud-house is made from the red soil of the area. Kagera is diverse and rich in...

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How did we meet our partners?

Barro negro Colectivo 1050 Grados Craft kits Culture kits Fair trade Mezcal cups Oaxaca Women artisans

How did we meet our partners?

Early on in the Folkways development process, I spent lots of time and effort researching many different wholesale sources specializing in regional crafts produced according to fair trade principles. In fact, there are many excellent wholesalers of a wide array of items handcrafted by artisans around the globe. But I quickly realized that the pieces that Folkways would offer would be different. Our regional collections feature unique objects that cannot be found through typical fair trade and global craft outlets. There was plenty of room in the marketplace to promote a different type of design aesthetic, one that upholds the idea that...

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What does Folkways mean?

Craft kits Cultural traditions Culture kits Fair trade

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 Culture 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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