In the rural villages around Mandalay most people live hand-to-mouth, surviving from subsistence farming, and growing kitchen gardens. Women also supplement their income with weaving, creating intricate designs using traditional indigenous techniques. A good weaver practices concentration and co-ordination to produce beautiful fabric, making accessories like the shoulder bag, generally known as a “Shan Bag”.
Sadly, cheap imports from China have meant these beautiful homemade fabrics are all but disappearing. Striving to create a sense of value and pride around the skill of weaving, organizations are providing these communities with a reliable marketplace, with the hope that these artisans can make a living from their work, providing for their families, and drawing a sense of pride from their beautiful craft.