Working with Kichwa artisans in the Amazon steps of Ecuador, I am amazed by how they are masters in traditional arts, using seeds and fibers they have grown themselves to create intricate seed-based jewelry, woven bags, baskets and other pieces. However, the specialized knowledge they have is quickly dying out as the younger generation losses interest and doesn’t see the value in preserving these traditional arts. They are less likely to speak Kichwa and havent learned the traditional handicrafts.
That’s where fair trade companies, like Faire Collection play a valuable role. Providing an income to these families through the purchase of their craft not only gives them a better quality of life, it also incentives the preservation of these ancient techniques. Will their children also learn how to separate out the delicate fibers of the pita plant and carefully tie the hundreds of knots to make a shigra bag?