Traditional Sewing Workshop with the Embera Chamí 2022
Great Rising to all of you!
As most of you know, we at Hand by Craft have created alliances with each of the communities we work with; our working relationships are of mutual cooperation and genuinely our offerings to them are NOT with the purpose of recognition or praise, however we do feel proud to share detailed insights of our joint efforts.
With just a year and 4 months since trading in the US we achieved our first offering to the Embera Chami reserve https://handbycraft.com/blogs/news/what-are-you-supporting-with-your-dollar We launched our first Short Documentary https://handbycraft.com/pages/documentary-series and that was just the beginning.
Really non of this would happen without the support of our clients who selectively choose with their economic power to be part of this ever-growing project.
Since our production took place, the Kurmado reserve has stolen our heart, it is no surprise we made observations and committed to the bettering of their conditions maintaining respect to their traditions as they share their knowledge and help weave a beautiful union of the Eagle (North America) and Condor (South America) Nations.
We noticed a peculiarity in the traditional dress of both men and women, none of the men wore any distinctive clothing and during the demonstration of the dances some of the ladies were missing their attire.
Naturally, we were curious and inquired about it, this is a bit of the explanation the main authority Don Francisco Nacavera shared with us:
-During the Spanish conquering in the 1500's the Catholic church persecuted our people and most men lost touch with the traditional ways, Language & Clothing were the main aspects left behind. The women on the other hand were by far more resilient and continued secretly to practice the mother Tongue & Rites.-
-Prior of the Inquisition both men and women dressed with clothing crafted from the bark fibers of a sacred tree and we all used plant dyes to adorn our skin. When the Spanish stablished on the land women were taught so sew and thats how their attires were born-
We then proceeded to ask a little more about the importance of the colors and the details incorporated to what he explained:
-The colors are an embodiment of the many faces the great spirit bestowed upon us and the women wear them to raise their energy and uplift the joy in the hearts of the community, the women sacred to us adorn the land dressed like flowers and the ribbons used as the representation of the landscape we inhabit, the river flow, the mountain peaks, the standing trees, the birds nesting, etc-
We suggested to Mr. Francisco the idea of contributing the materials for a 🧵 sewing workshop where the all the generations of living women of the community could gather and share their wisdom with the youth. Mr. Francisco was surprised but also very happy to hear our proposal, he nodded and so we began.
Mr. Francisco and his family took the lead and with all the women of Kurmado they chose their fabrics, threads and laces of preference. In the school room the children began to draw their designs full of excitement.
Yellow resembling of the Sun energy, Warmth, Happiness & Abundance, Pink a representation of tenderness and child like spirit were the voted colors for the fabrics, White for purity, Teal for wisdom and balance, Green for nature and renewal and Gold symbol of vitality and success were the decorating laces picked to go with the fabrics.
Kurmado and its inhabitants came together as a family and shared the experience, although Josh and I were unable to be present at the time of the workshop, the community expressed how powerful it was to sit and learn from their elders the art of sewing, the gift of empowerment was passed to the young children who feel pride wearing their handcrafted garments.
"The experience was gratifying, we don't know many of you but through our work we have found many allies. We will continue to resist and pray for everyone that with a clean heart supported us. We work with happiness and feels good to receive happiness back from lands far away, maybe one day if God allows we can travel and learn what the North is about" Francisco Nacavera (Kurmado's First Governor)
This offering marked another example of the great power we can achieve by coming together with pure intention, is a reassurance this union between nations has many paths to join, it is thread of energy invisible to the eye that shakes the core of your cells, a milestone for the young generations of the Embera Chamí in the pursuit of their ancestral memory.
To you reading this story and to everyone that has supported and followed our journey, this is also your achievement. Thank you for discovering us, for your contributions and generosity.