Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

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Success Stories

‘Saraguro Women are Artisans from Birth’ – how the Market helps La Mega Cooperativa de los Saraguros in Ecuador

Flor Maria Cartuche Andrade, President of La Mega Cooperativa de Los Saraguros explains how the Market has helped the members of her cooperative and their families. She also outlines how attending the Market has helped the artists focus on improving still further the amazing quality of their beautiful beadwork.

‘The lives of my family hang on the threads which I embroider’ – the Market Helps SEWA Bring Holistic Development to Rural India

SEWA helps more than 15,000 women artisans from the desert region of Gujarat, in western India, helping them to create livelihoods for themselves and their families by selling their traditional embroidery.

‘This tradition is getting life again’ – creating opportunities for women and girls in Pakistan

Since attending the first International Folk Art Market Santa Fe in 2004 artists’ group Lila Handicrafts has been working hard to create opportunities for women and girls in the Sindh province of Pakistan, through the production and sale of their beautiful ralli quilts.

The Silkies of Madagascar

“Silk weaving originated with our ancestors; it’s what sustains us,” said Ramalene, a traditional silk weaver from Sandrandahy, Madagascar. She is a member of a collective who appears in a new documentary called “The Silkies of Madagascar.” Award-winning filmmaker David Evans tells the story of how access to sustainable, global, fair-trade markets preserves an ancient tradition, empowers women, and changes the future for their children.

The Market’s Impact on Artists Globally

In 2011, artists and artists cooperatives from 50 countries, represented over 20,000 family and community members, and impacted some 200,000 lives. With artists’ sales reaching $2.3 million, the Market directly improves on some key areas of social impact.

Weaving a Better Life - Zodwa Maphumulo: BAT Shop, South Africa

For years, Ms. Maphumulo struggled to support her young family in urban South Africa. She cleaned houses, took on yard work, and fell deeper into poverty with each year.

Poppies Are Not the Road to Freedom: Rangina Hamidi: Afghans for a Civil Society, Afghanistan

When Ms. Hamidi was four years old, her family fled Afghanistan for America, but Ms. Hamidi never forgot her homeland. After getting a degree in religion from the University of Virginia, she returned to Afghanistan and co-founded Afghans for a Civil Society.

work by handeiraThe Threads that Hold a Community Together: Ilma Paixao: Handeira Linens and Lace, Brazil

Ms. Paixao, a Brazilian-American, returned to her family’s homeland in 2001 to organize a free-trade co-op of traditional lace makers in the remote and impoverished Brazilian state of Pernambuco

Work by Agnes PapatitiBeads For Life - Agnes Papatit: Beads for Education, Kenya

Born and raised in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, Agnes Papatit has led a traditional Maasai life.

Her family’s home was made of mud and dung, clustered with similar huts belonging to other villagers, all of them ringed with thorn bushes to protect the valuable cattle from predators.

Work by Thembi NalaPottery as Lifeline and Legacy - Thembi Nala: Zulu Potters, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

For Thembi, pottery making is both a legacy and a lifeline. Her mother, Nesta Nala, was one of the first potters to popularize Zulu pottery and her pots are in museums and prestigious private collections worldwide.

Work by Zenobia ParicelaEmbroidery Supports a Community - Zenobia Paricela and the Cooperative of Chijnaya:  Artisian Committee of Chijnaya, Peru

The story of the village, Chijnaya, is one of loss, restoration, and of how necessity can be the foundation of great folk art. In 1963, Lake Titicaca flooded a vast portion of Peru’s high country, where hardscrabble farmers, most of them Quechuan Indians, had raised llama, sheep, and subsistence crops.

imageKeeping Tradition Alive - Magdalena Pedro Martinez: Oaxacan Ceramics, Oaxaca, Mexico

A practicing physician by profession and a ceramacist by training and inclination, Dr. Magdalena Martinez creates ceramic figurines of female figures, most dressed in the traditional costumes of Oaxaca.

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.