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The Artisans

 

The ethnic minority tribes of southwest China believe everything that moves or grows has its own spirit. Their Shamanistic religion worships the sun, moon, lightning, thunder, fire, rivers, caverns, large trees, huge stones, and animals. This respect for nature has allowed them to live harmoniously with their environment and create cottage industries that are sustainable and non-polluting.

As self-sufficient farmers, they also use their land to grow raw materials for their fabrics including cotton, ramie, flax, and hemp. Tree bark, flowers and special herbs are foraged in the surrounding mountain forest according to the cycles of the seasons. 

All of our farmers and artisans are women, simply because the fabric-making tradition is passed down from mother to daughter. For this reason, all our fabric and clothing is a culmination of three generations: young women, mothers, and grandmothers. 

Wu Fei La grows our cotton on her farmland.

Zhi Zhi sews in our workshop.

Grandmother Pan raises silk worms and spins their cocoons into thread.