It used to be, to meet folk artists from 60 countries and buy their wares at the biggest folk art market in the world, you had to go to Santa Fe for a few days in July. No complaints about that! I almost went this year. Through Airbnb, I had found a little casita with its own traditional blue entry door on Canyon Road, much more affordable than a hotel. But life got busy and I did not go. I wanted to go because the folk art market looks like the most joyous and creative collection of things made by people to share their cultures. I had wanted to meet the people.
Selling at the market is a way to bring economic benefits back to entire communities. The sales help villages build schools for children and shelters for women, and they sustain families. People can earn more in a weekend in Santa Fe than they can earn all year in their countries. To come to Santa Fe, some artists take their first trip ever on an airplane, or their first trip outside their country. I am definitely penciling in July 2015’s folk art market on my calendar!
But meanwhile, now you can shop online with the International Folk Art Market. As I wear a lot of black, I noticed this Warli scarf made in India. The design is inspired by centuries-old Warli murals in Gujarat:
Drums like this Djembe drum from Nigeria are working drums, but also decorative and can be useful functional little side tables next to chairs or sofas. Years ago, back in 2011, I posted about a South Indian drum we use in our living room as a little table between two chairs. You can do the same with this:
Are these not the most unique earrings! They’re made of silver and carved gourd. Now I’ve seen a lot of gourd crafts over the years, but nothing like this. They’re made in Peru and they combine Inca, Colonial, Modern and Baroque styles and jewelry techniques:
These cuff bracelets are made from recycled PVC. They are handmade by the Ovahimba people from the Kunene region of Namibia. They cut the PCV piping into the shape of the bracelet, etch the design into the plastic, and add a patina or natural dye to color the bracelets.
This is just a sampling of what’s available at the International Folk Art Market’s online shop, and I’m sure it will grow over time as the Santa Fe market has.