During my travels I have met many wonderful
crafts men and women. But equally important to me have been my
guides, who may not be crafts people themselves, but have an understanding
and appreciation of their local crafts. I am listing the names
of some of my guides, so if you are travelling in these areas
and are interested in traditional crafts you can contact someone
who speaks English and understands. If you say Janet has sent
you, they will know you are not just a tourist but are seriously
interested in the craft!
Uzeyir Ozyurt, Dervish Brothers Center, Piri Pasa Mh, Mimar
Sinan Sk No 6A, Konya. Tel: 0090 (0)332 351 5467 Email:
email@example.com. Uzeyir will be able to
show you any aspect of the making of kilims, carpets or felt that
you are interested in and he has great knowledge of the designs,
their origins and interpretation.
Freddy Hambuwali, 75 R Suprapto St, Prailiu, Waingapu, Sumba.
In fact when you arrive in Waingapu, just say to any boys about
that you want to see Freddy and he will appear sooner or later.
Freddy can take you to the villages where they make ikats and
Pau cloths and show you all the processes.
Hugo Antonio Santiago, Cuautemoc #5, Teotitlan del Vallee, Oaxaca.
Telephone 00 52 (0)95244117. Hugo works at the tourist office
at 5 de Mayo#200 esq Morelos, Oaxaca, so can be found there on
week days between 9am and 3pm. Hugo has an encyclopaedic knowledge
of the textiles and crafts of not only Oaxaca province but of
Mexico and Guatemala.
Lidia de Lopez, 2a Avenida 1-05, Zona 4, San Antonio Aguas Calientes,
Antigua. Tel 8315917. Lidia is a wonderful weaver and is expert
at demonstrating to Western weavers. Lidia does not speak much
English, but somehow it does not seem necessary as she offers
typical Mayan hospitality at her house.
Onchuda Kongpapha, 112 moo 16, Tumbol Koothong, Amphur Chiang-Yeun,
Mahasarakham 44160. Tel: 0066 (0)43 370472 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. In the tourist areas of Thailand
like Chiangmai and Bangkok there are many guides. But the silk
producing and weaving centres in the NE are rural areas where
it is difficult to find your around. Onchuda lives near Khon Kaen
in the middle of the silk area. She is a professional guide and
speaks excellent English and is almost as passionate about silk
as I am. She can take you to see all the processes of silk production
and the different kinds of silk weaving.
Tin Win, No. 104, 50th Street, Pazundaung Township, Yangon, 11171,
Burma. Tel. 00 95 1294043 (also fax). I really do think that intelligent
travellers to Burma benefit the artisans of this country. Transport,
hotels and shops are now mostly privately owned, so the money
you spend goes directly to who you want it to. I think this it
is particularly important to support the traditional crafts people
by buying their products.
India - Kutch:
To see all the textiles in Kutch , you need to hire a taxi to
travel to all the villages. Sakur Essa Manjothi is not only a
taxi driver but a knowledgeable and sensitive guide to the many
different communities in this area. His address is Jestha Nagar
Road, Bhuj, Kutch 370001. But the best way to find him is to ask
around the taxi rank outside the bus station.
If you are interested in Ajrakh and vegetable dye block printing
go direct to members of the Siddiquebhai family who used to be
at Dhamadka. They will be happy to show and explain the processes.
Dhamdka was flattened in the recent earthquake but the Siddequebhai
family is rebuilding workshops in a new site nearer Bhuj.
There are three excellent projects working
with the local women to preserve their textile heritage. Kala
Raksha is at Sumrasar Sheikh, while Shrujan and Kutch Mahila Vikas
Sangathan are based in Bhuj itself. All are worth a visit