Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Change Lives Donate Now Now
Bookmark and Share

September 28, 2011
Bridging the Gap from a Madagascan Village to the Rest of the World

imageSahalandy weaver Marie Ramanaliniaina at the Market this summer. Photo by Bob Smith.

Association Sahalandy is a group of seven weaving cooperatives representing 80 weavers in the area of Sandrandahy in the central highlands of Madagascar.

They attended the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market for the first time this summer, and they’ve sent us this feedback via Natalie Mundy, a Peace Corps volunteer from Roanoke, Virgina who’s been working with the Association:

‘Sahalandy’s participation in the Folk Art Market has been the answer to an age old question: How would they bridge the gap between their small village in Madagascar and the rest of the world? The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market was exactly that.’

The cooperative made over $30,000 selling their work at the Market, and Natalie takes up the story of what they’re going to do with their earnings:

“˜We had a minor issue with receiving checks (from earnings at the Folk Art Market) from our local bank to properly disperse our money, and we just got it all sorted last week. However, we have had 2 months of meetings to figure out our plan of attack once it arrived.

‘We are planning to use our funds from Santa Fe to build 4 bungalows and a showroom for the tourists that pass through on a regular circuit.

‘Now [visitors] will have a closer water source, shower, bathroom, and a beautiful bungalow.

‘The other part of the project is a showroom in order to show the time consuming and extensive process of silk weaving – from farming silk cocoons, dyeing, washing, weaving, and finishing.

‘It’s also a chance for our weavers to work together. Up until now, they have been scattered for miles around, rarely seeing each other except for meetings.

‘Now they will be able to manage orders and come together as a team. Sahalandy is very excited! A plan of this nature has been talked about for the past 7 years.’

This plan is now becoming real thanks to their earnings from the Folk Art Market.

They also report that the biggest lesson they learned while in Santa Fe has been better costing and pricing. Until now, the weavers have never properly incorporated their own salary into the cost of a scarf.

Natalie reports Sahalandy was impressed with the organization of the Market and with the dedication of the employees and volunteers: ‘It definitely was not possible without them. Thank you!’

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 7:45 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, a non-profit organization, produces the largest international folk art market in the world, and our success led to Santa Fe’s designation as a UNESCO City of Folk Art.