In this blog post we intend to transmit the words of the artisans regarding many different concerns relevant to them. We want to give voice to the artists we work with, people we admire and who we consider our friends.
Representing 61% of the country's territory, the Peruvian Amazon rainforest is still far from receiving the required involvement from the state to fight poverty and work towards the care of natural resources, among many other needs.
"Their economic and social indicators are very low and are among the poorest departments in Peru according to national indicators, such as the human development index (life expectancy, educational achievement or per capita income)." Nelly Impi Bermeo (Awajún)
For the artisans we work with, the artisanal trade represents a sustainable economic alternative in which, besides venerating their traditions, they recieve a helpful economic income. A stable fair trade is of vital importance for craftspeople in vulnerable situations.
"Trade is important for me and the Yines because it really helps us to improve our living conditions." Emily (Yine)
"We will not rest, we will continue to do it and we will never get tired of it [...] Buying isconahua art is important because it gives us work." Luz (Iskonawa)
"Community development requires an exchange of goods and services from other local or national cultures, and the value offered by their work must also be recognized so that they can count on additional resources for their progress (health, education, transport, food, communication, etc.). [...] We are located in the remote areas of our country, which limits our ability to mobilize or communicate. The cost is very high for the transport. And Xapiri facilitates the connection to continue promoting and fostering our knowledge, skills and values through our craftsmanship." Nelly Impi Bermeo (Awajún)
On the other hand, it provides an opportunity to resist the many threats to traditional art. Such knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation and is a living representation of Amazonian culture.
"Since my childhood, I have liked the work of handicraft and the culture of my ancestors, making bracelets and earrings that my mother taught me. And later I learned to do embroidery, paint fabrics and weave the thread bracelets that my older sisters taught me. They were my teachers." Isabel (Shipibo-Konibo)
"Because we only have few grandparents and we want to keep our culture alive through design. [...] Since our grandparents can no longer continue, but they teach us." Luz (Iskonawa)
"We have to maintain our culture and our identity as the origins of a people full of customs, dances, food and much more, it's our pride [...] I believe that we as parents must teach our children all our culture and practices, telling ancestral stories so that our living culture never extinguishes." Emily (Yine)
By offering the artisans a platform to sell in our Cusco-based gallery and online shop, the aim is to give value and recognition to Amazon art, and to create a renewed enthusiasm for the artists so that this art, which is disappearing today, continues for the generations to come. By helping to create a living market and an increased demand for their crafts, we foresee that the future of this ancient art will be long-lasting and sustainable.