NEW MEETING WITH WICHI ARTISANS: TECHNICAL TRAINING AND INTERCULTURAL VIVENCES
At the end of June, two members of the A & E team traveled to Chaco Salteño with the mission of participating in an exchange between Wichí artisans in the community of Santa María. Artisans of the community "La Puntana", which is located a few km away.
The day was sunny, and the temperature was high for the winter season we went through. A man approached us, who told us that he was going to start broadcasting on community radio that the meeting was about to happen, so that they begin to approach.
Little by little the artisans began to arrive, with their colorful skirts and their elusive looks. One can see at a glance that they are shy about their bodily expressions but sure in their steps. They touched their faces when speaking, as if avoiding the reading of their lips. They spoke among themselves in their language, knowing of our presence, but asserting their own culture.
The exchange was based on the updating of the designs that are made with the chaguar (wild plant that is in the mountain).
The women that make up the group that they called Thañí -which means "Come from the mountain" - brought products made by themselves, with the intention of using them as examples to show the artisans of Santa María, and thus replicate them with their own style. Among them we could see the well-known yicas, cartridge belts with different designs, dolls and dolls, among many others.
The most interesting thing about the meeting was that it was completely produced in the Wichí language. We made our contributions, but our fundamental role there was to get the parties together and have that debate and exchange of ways to work with their hands.
There, too, lies the magic, the Creole non-intervention in their customs and respect for the cultural diversity that is part of our mission.
We were able to chat with them about their work, and about what it means for an organization like ours to give them visibility. The conversations were calm, since that is what they transmitted through his low tone of voice and his peaceful attitude. At times the snort of the wind made it difficult for us to hear them, but that was not a problem, since it is not only about listening, but also about seeing, seeing them, observing them, taking their history and art outside of the community.
We are sure that the final result of this meeting was very satisfactory for all and we hope they can start producing new products to take from the mountain to the solidarity shops of Arte y Esperanza.
Nothing more beautiful than being part of this history, providing them with a decent source of work and committing to Fair Trade. Nothing cuter than walking together.