Congratulations on visiting the …in a strange land blog, your one stop shop for articles relating to those wild, exciting far flung places we rarely get to visit. I will be posting information on our range of beautiful, hard to find items from all corners of the world.
Everyone needs to start somewhere and for me ‘somewhere’ will be South West China and South East Asia. I have traveled extensively in these regions and am struck by the beauty of the landscape, the history of the area and the friendly nature of the people who live here. Many of these people are members of tribes which have survived for centuries if not thousands of years, their culture remaining largely unchanged for most of that time. As hard to reach places become more accessible, these people have often had to adapt to changes and very often this means that their cultures and way of life become threatened as the economies of the modern countries in which they reside strive to keep up with the rest of the world.
I feel it’s important to help these people retain their cultural identity while still being able to be a part of the modern world. My aim is to introduce their traditional craft to the rest of the world and to help them to earn a fair and just wage from doing so. Every item will be handcrafted using traditional and sustainable techniques. In a world of mass production and global economic crisis this seems to be an increasingly difficult task and it would be a tragedy if these beautifully colourful yet practical skills are lost, swallowed up by an ever increasing consumerist mindset.
I will be boarding a plane on Monday bound for Hong Kong and then on to Yunnan in the far South West of China for my inaugural sourcing trip. A land of beautiful scenery, rare wildlife and numerous ethic minorities, Yunnan has long been a destination for the adventurous traveller and promises to be the perfect starting point for this new enterprise. I will be posting on the blog about the people I meet, their stories, craftwork and culture as I go. I hope you can join me!